Chinese artist Cao Shu's Roam Simulator (2021) mixes in game photography, autobiography and Jameson's cognitive mapping. A video game set in an abandoned Chinese desert town, Roam Simulator allow players to interact with the world using four buttons — birth, wake, fall, and recall. Pressing the 'recall' button brings up photographs of people shot in similar environments. As Cao Shu writes:
It has been 15 years since I left the north, and my existing life has been divided into two almost equal parts. No matter how the city space is demolished and reconstructed, the original geographical structure and impression of hometown will always be stored in the depth of the brain. Some reduction and reorganization in deep dream. I follow the clues of the family album and return the location of it by 3D digital simulation. It was originally in a game, and the spatial combination continued the long-term recording of dream map. In the exhibition hall, scattered photos are also available.They are clues to the game. The game is about walking alone on the surface of a subconscious planet covered with a mental map. Dozens a moment of years ago, a few years ago and yesterday came at the same time. This work is a continuation of the self questioning of many years ago,Can people understand history with geography and time with space by means of changing technology?
Hangzhou-based artist Cao Shu mainly works in new media art in Hangzhou. More recently, Cao Shu works with personal and historical memory as a work interface, continue to carry out a variety of media interaction practice. In recent years, Cao Shu has been residency artist for atelier Mondial in Basel, Switzerland(2017), Koganecho Bazzaar Art Festival, Yokohama (2019) , and Muffatwerk the venue for international art and culture in Munich (2020) .
LINK: Cao Shu (All images courtesy of Cao Shu)