WELCOME TO MY DESERT NEXUS (DEEP INSIDE MY DESERT HEART)
Digital video (1920 x 1080), color, sound, 44’ 50”, 2021 (United States)
screen recording of a live/virtual performance at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York on June 13 2021
Created by Kara Güt
Welcome to My Desert Nexus is a three-act play performed within a video game, which follows two players within Red Dead Redemption Online as they encounter existential quandaries in the digital desert. Part table-read, part live gaming event, Welcome to My Desert Nexus combines the aesthetics of theater and video games. The original play consists of an in-person presentation performed live at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York on June 13 2021 resembling that of a live gaming event in which the players and their battle stations occupy the stage. Additionally, Welcome to My Desert Nexus was simultaneously streamed on the internet and accessible to anyone. The performance featured the four actors on stage controlling their avatars and reading their lines live. The narrator, in addition to controlling an avatar, performed live cuts via video switcher, allowing the screen to switch between the actors’ perspectives based on who was talking. This specific iteration of Welcome to My Desert Nexus, which is now presented on VRAL, starred Tommy Martinez as Charlie, Emma Levesque-Schaefer as Frances, Noah D’Orazio as Shepherd, and Kara Güt as Narrator. The original soundtrack was composed by Justin Majetich.
Kara Güt investigates the new contours of human intimacy shaped by an increasingly pervasive online lifestyle, constructed detachment from reality, and the power dynamics of the virtual. Using image and screen-based media, Güt explores the ontological necessity of certain digital spaces. She is specifically interested in how the patriarchal conversation within these contexts can be subverted by the artists and the participants’ intervention to generate new meaning. Working with video, screen capture, and the web, video games, and other digital spaces, Güt creates artworks that are sculptural in nature. She is interested in expressing the mythos of the digital and its manifestations in the physical realm. This notion – which takes the form of objects that play with language, translation, faux-intimacy, consumerism, and a metamorphosis born from the lore of digital, and internet lifestyles – informs her practice. A multidisciplinary artist with an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Güt is the recipient of the Peter MacKendrick Endowment for Visual Artists, Güt has been featured on Refigural Magazine, The Unstitute, and the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography among others. Her work is part of the Cranbrook Art Museum collection as well as several private collections. Güt currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio.