Fourth in a series of events showing new and experimental work in the gallery and courtyard at Bloc. Featuring artists influenced by computer game culture, working across a range of disciplines including computer-generated works, video, animation and performance.
Link to image archive (flickr.com)
Inverted Starfield (One Hundred Stars)
The direction of the stars in the classic Micro soft ‘starfield’ screensaver are reversed and looped.
Digital image sequence
When you glide down the pavements of “Tony Hawkes Pro-Skater” or make off with another hapless victim’s car in “Grand Theft Auto”, you’re surrounded by synthetic buildings, boxy forms created from digitally painted polygons of a 3d rendering program. Each building isn’t unique - it reappears again and again, perhaps with superficial variations in colour or texture, but recognisably identical. But this simplicity doesn’t always satisfy: it’s easy to become disorientated as you mistake one digital boulevard for another. There’s a push in the videogame world to achieve “realistic rendering” - displaying archi tectural spaces which conform more and more to the complexity of real places. Meanwhile, in anonymous business parks, architects use 3D rendering programs (simi lar to the mechanisms embedded in video games) to design out-of-town malls, easy ac cess warehousing, prestige offices and low cost retail units. As if responding to a single magnetic pull for uni ty, the architecture of the real world is conform ing more and more with the simply rendered, repeating forms of the video game. “This place” is becoming “any place”: it’s easy to become dis orientated as you mistake one building for anoth er. This project tracks and records the qualities of the “non-places” of our generic city. They’re stripped down, reduced to a single bitplane, leeched of character and aesthetic quality. Welcome to nowhere.
JONATHAN BROWN & ROBERT LARDER
Live performance of signature music from ar cade classics, including Golden Axe, Double Dragon and Space Harrier. Accompanied by visuals by Matt Rice.
Laser print on billboard
A familiar Sheffield landmark is transported to the secluded surroundings of Eyre Lane, for this 1:50 scale billboard depiction of the Tinsley Via duct and cooling towers.
JON BROWN & DAVE PERRY
Gib Chunder 2
Playable game created by the artists using vin tage game creation software Click ‘n’ Create.
“I consider my work to have evolved from a uto pian and romantic tradition. I want to analyse the contention between reality and perfection, the real and the imaginary and maybe idealistically between the individual and society. I want to ex amine what is acceptable and not acceptable within the framework of our culture. To under stand how this structure works and how mean ing is gained and constructed in relation to our beliefs, value and knowledge in our society.”
For the Subway
“The subway was inspired by a trip to the Lon don Underground and i just loved how the track just continued on into the dark. After my first ren ders I loved how eerie the scene felt and I guess with my love of horror games I continued on with the theme.”
Work in progress
Live digital video
Michael Day lives in Cardiff and works in Shef field, and his practice reflects a regular displace ment between the two cities by maintaining an interdisciplinary, improvisational nature, using a wide range of media and technologies. His work is characterised by a visual economy and sense of displaced distance from the viewer, often ex ploring the impact of new technologies on author ship, on art consumption, and on visual culture as a whole. This work in progress was developed as part of a recent research project into live performance tools. It uses live video as a data source, con verting colour levels into blocky three-dimen sional shapes reminiscent of 1980s computer games.
Stop frame animation
“A large part of my practice has involved trees: this has mainly taken the form of collecting im ages of trees from botanical, graphic and com mercial sources then amassing them into pre sentations so as to form landscapes. These presentations have usually been slide projec tions so this is the first animation I have done of this nature.
A number of the trees are of a bold geometric logo style, the complexity of what they signify in relation to their visual simplicity is what interests me. In the context of computer generated im agery, this simplicity has taken on the form of a series of low resolutions, through which the trees are still pictured.”
“Art is based on nondescript text and images based on colourful humaoids, specifically pro wrestlers, masked heroes, videogame mon sters…and the two elements not really adding up. That’s the fun.”
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