Game Art: Robert Overweg, streetphotographer in video game worlds (2010)
Robert Overweg has been an artist in residence for the last couple of months at TAG in The Hague working on his streetphotography of the virtual world. Overweg dwells through popular (first-and-third-person) games in which he makes use of the new possibilities the virtual world offer him to make his photographs. His new series include: The end of the virtual world, Glitches, and New perspectives.
Discussing "The end of the virtual world", Overweg wrote "these photographs show us how the virtual world ends. What I find interesting about these photographs is that they behold a certain dramatic almost classical feel to them playing with our real life experiences but cut off." An example of cultural appropriation, "The end of the virtual world" combines our apocalyptic anxieties with popular culture artifacts.
Glitches, on the other hand, are an experiment in subversion and hacking. As Overweg writes, "I try not to follow the roads I am supposed to take, but try to seek out my own path within and outside the given boundaries of the game. I find joy in making use of a glitch which gives me the possibility to have a different look at the virtual world. Flying around and running through walls which I am not supposed to do gives me a sense of freedom and the ability to move in ways I can’t in the physical world. I want to look behind the curtain of the virtual facade and show it to the world."
Finally, New Perspectives is " a series in which I make use of the new possibilities the virtual world gives me. By going into the ground and documenting what I find looking up into the constructed world. I can float in water without consequence for my camera photographing what I find intriguing, the above world deformed by the movement of the water. Photographing upwards underneath a car positioned just in the right spot makes it so that the sky does not fully render leaving the photograph with pitch black sky. This new perspective results in a abstract and surreal photographs." (Overweg, 2010).
A few examples:
Untitled glitch 2010, Robert Overweg, Left 4 Dead 2
The end of the virtual world 7, 2010, Robert Overweg, Modern Warfare 2
The end of the virtual world 4, 2010, Robert Overweg, Modern Warfare 2