Artist and filmmaker Jordy Veenstra's latest project is a fascinating mix of ultra-modern and retro-future. Hyper Real is not only a homage to late Nineties online gaming but also a very contemporary critique of visual culture. Described as "an experimental 15-minute match of Capture the Flag within the game Quake III Arena (1999)", this short explicitly cites Jean Baudrillard's notion of hyperreality, mixing lo-fi aesthetics (VHS video), twitch-action, the typical first-person shooter cacophonic soundscape, multiple split-screens, phallic guns, hyper-competition, and the professionalization of play (see the reference to the the fictitious Master of Flags tournament). As Veenstra writes in his statement, Hyper Real is meant as
a presentation of audiovisual chaos and the idea of hyper consumption in the most literal way (consuming as much moving images as possible within one single frame). A last form of inspiration was found in finding new ways of implementing Quake III footage for machinima purposes.
Veenstra also stresses the inherently spectactorial nature of Quake III Arena and introduces an interesting theory about bot-based spectacle:
With Hyper Reality, I aim to show that the perception and interpretation of Quake III Arena enthusiasts/professionals of gameplay and presentation are intertwined; heavy bot-induced gameplay will be less dreaded due to a higher level of visual presentation; standard bot-gameplay without artistic and aesthetic enhancements will receive higher levels of negative attention; viewers pay more attention to the concept of hyper consumption rather than the synchronicity of the film.
A stunning gender-bender and an overwhelming visual experience presented in 4:3 ratio, Hyper Real is a remarkable achievement in machinima-making like his previous Quake III-inspired work, the groundbreaking Depthmap, which was featured in the The Weird, The Eerie, and The Unreal program of the 2020 MILAN MACHINIMA FESTIVAL.
Jordy Veenstra is a video editor, motion graphics designer, 2D animator, and experimental filmmaker based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In his practice, Veenstra connects art and narrative with technology and software through the medium of experimental film. His work examines often overlooked social and artistic concerns.
LINK: Jordy Veenstra