digital video, color, sound, 666'“, 2020 (Russia)
Created by Mikhail Maksimov
Introduced by Matteo Bittanti
Mikhail Maksimov first encountered videogames at the age of twelve. His first time was with Clive Townsend’s Saboteur! (1985) on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Subsequently, he fell in love with first-person shooters – Doom II in particular – which he played at night on a personal computer installed in a dentist’s office (true story). Later in life, Maksimov turned his fascination for digital gaming into an arena for artistic experimentation. Unlike cinema and contemporary art – he once told a critic – video games are less reliant on curatorial arbitrariness. Moreover, video games can also reach a broader public via alternative channels, e.g. the internet, rather than white cube spaces. Infinite Graveyard is part of Maksimov’s ongoing exploration of gaming mechanics and digital aesthetics. Presented on VRAL as a 666 minutes gameplay video recorded by the artist, Infinite Graveyard is a commentary of the endless cycle of death in an age marked by toxic positive thinking, stultifying gamification, and neoliberal imperatives.
Mikhail Maksimov is an artist and filmmaker whose practice revolves around game engines, 3D graphics, algorithms, and neural networks. Among his most recent (and radical) projects is SAR, Sanatorium Anthropocene Retreat! (formerly known as MOMAM, Museum of Modern Art Massacre), a dystopian first-person shooter set in the artworld and inspired by the writing of Bruno Latour and Donna Haraway. After graduating in Architecture from the Moscow State Construction University and receiving an MFA from the Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia, Maksimov took part in several exhibitions and festivals, including the Moscow Modern Art Biennale, Venice Biennale of Architecture, New Horizons International Film Festival, the Moscow International Film Festival, Manifesta, Kansk Video Festival, the International Festival of Cinematographic Debuts “Spirit of Fire”, Locarno Festival, Hamburg KurzFilmFestival, Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, and many more. Maksimov lives and works in Moscow.