Andy Hughes' monumental Plastic Scoop examines the relationship between virtual environments and ecological issues though the filter of GTA V. Created using the Rockstar Editor, Plastic Coop mixes images from the videogame with found footage and archival moving image. The video opens with the soothing atmospheres of an ocean at sunset, but the voiceover - extolling the merits of nuclear weapons and plastic ("plastic... plastic... plastic...") - and rockets penetrating the surface soon disrupt the tranquility. Suddenly, an astronaut emerges from the water...
Plastic Scoop draws on contemporary narratives to express the ways in which our anxiety and fears about ocean pollution, plastic waste and global heating are presented. The film features gleaned archival moving image material and cinema footage from early ocean exploration, including nasa sound recordings with his own created and directed in-game Grand Theft Auto machinima. Working in cooperation with Dr Mandy Bloomfield and the English faculty students at the University of Plymouth through discussion and workshops the film was co-developed through the exchange of ideas and concepts.
Hughes’ photographic work explores the littoral zone and the politics of waste. In 2013 he traveled to Alaska, invited as part of an international team of artists and scientists to work on the project Gyre: The Plastic Ocean. This project was a world first and unique project that explored the integration of science and art to document and interpret the issue of plastic and human waste in the marine and coastal environment.
LINK: Andy Hughes (All images and video courtesy of the Artist)