In 2007, seven students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå, Sweden - Olof Broström, Carl-Erik Engqvist, John Huntington, Anders Johansson, Eskil Liepa, Ida Rödén and Per-Arne Sträng - created a collective known as "Dataspelsgruppen” (literally, the “Videogame group”). Their ambition was to investigate and use videogames as artistic tools to collective explore the artistic process in the liminal spaces between art and game design. In the same year, they designed their first game project, “Yod Burrow and the mix-up of Chaste City”, which was presented at Bildmuseet, Umeå. The videogame was never completed, so they exhibited screenshots and sketches of the game.
After graduating, some of them have continued to work with videogames and art. Among them is Ida Rödén. Collaborating with Jens Andersson (former lead designer at the Swedish company Starbreeze Studios, the team behind such games as The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Darkness), Ida developed the experimental videogame “Rorschach,” a detective story taking place in a madhouse where a murder has been committed. The graphics - created by Röden - evoke the ink-stain look of the famous Rorschach-test. The game has been exhibited at Bildmuseet in Umeå, Sweden an d at the festival FILE 2008, in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
In the past few years, Ida Rödén’s interest has turned to drawing. In an exhibition held in Östersund, Sweden and organized by the Swedish collective Upgrade! node, she showed a new project called “Composition Grid”, build on the concept of Tetris. The concept behind this piece of interactive art is that the player should be able to design, in a Tetris-like way, a unique drawing on the screen that later could be printed with the artist signature on it. The picture on the screen are created with help of 216 different creatures (built with six squares) falling from the sky. The next development step consists in transfering the program to a flash application available on the net.
On her homepage, Ida describes her view on video games and art, a description I think many artist working with Game Art recognize:
“Video games have the potential of becoming one of the most advanced art forms. I don’t have interest in defining whether a video game is art or not. An art piece that intrigues me has an interesting idea expressed through a well-done and personal handcraft. If a video game has that, then it has every potential of being an art piece.” (Ida Rödén)Text by Mathias Jansson.
Link: Ida Rödén