Karl Orozco is an artist from Queens, New York currently practicing a form of de- and re-construction the backstories of “ethnic” fighting game characters to be more congruent with the historical traumas and spiritual practices their creators mine. His latest project centers on Soulcalibur II. Orozco modified the game files of the game to remove all background art and other characters and allow users to assume control of Talim and her power to control the winds.
As the Artist writes:
Talim is a playable character from the fighting game Soulcalibur II and is widely considered the first Filipina video game character. Talim is a young babaylan ("shaman" or "community healer") who hails from the Village of the Wind Deity on the Eastern Visayan island of Samar. In the SoulCalibur universe, Talim is the last babaylan in her community as Spanish Catholic colonists persecuted all who practiced these rites and burned everything associated with indigenous spirituality. In Talim VS, I have modified the game files of Soulcalibur II to remove all background art and other characters and allow users to assume control of Talim and her power to control the winds. Upon prompting from a small “player’s guide,” participants input fighting moves on a customized PlayStation controller as body rituals to rid Talim's home from the specter of colonialism.
Talim VS - Horizontal Moves is part of a larger project focusing on Soul Calibur II.
Karl Orozco, Talim VS, video excerpt from modified Soul Calibur II Rom, 2019
Orozco's Talim VS installation features a Microsoft Surface, matte board, paint and tape, and a modified Soul Calibur II ROM.