digital video, color, sound, 6’ 59”, 2015 (2023), The Netherlands
Created by Bram Ruiter
January 19- February 1 2024
Introduced by Matteo Bittanti
Bram Ruiter’s experimental 2015 work Endless Sea was originally shot with/in a modified version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar Games, 2004). Yet rather than depicting the crime simulations and violence the game was originally designed for, Ruiter harnesses expanded weather and free camera tools to craft an oneiric aesthetic experience outside gameplay norms. Through prismatic neon haze and perpetual storms visualized with heightened cinematic focus, the 6-minute conceptual work inhabits an ambivalent space between the game’s assumed freedoms and underlying restrictions. As the perspective drifts, glides, pursues unknown figures through the deserted streets, a disquieting sense of surveillance, pursuit and entrapment permeates the mood. Repeated cryptic references to the endless sea itself seems to signal the infinite confines of San Andreas, though whether the despairing urge to break free springs from the player or the lone avatar remains ambiguous. Ultimately Ruiter undermines the promised openness of Rockstar Games’ sandbox architecture by exposing its boundaries through tonal manipulation. Endless Sea is presented on VRAL in a never-seen-before, 2023 remastered edition.
Bram Ruiter is an experimental filmmaker based in Zwolle, the Netherlands, who creates collage-like cinematic morphologies that examine themes of creation, contradictions, labor, and the unfinished or incomplete. Fascinated by marginal objects and obsolescent procedures, his work incorporates non-traditional materials and broken aesthetics. Ruiter's films have screened internationally at festivals including the Viennale, Karlovy Vary, Pesaro Film Fest, Fantastic Fest Austin, A.Maze Berlin, and the Netherlands Film Festival. Ruiter also teaches filmmaking at ArtEZ University of the Arts, both at graduate and undergraduate level.