Combining original photos taken by the author during guided tours of Chernobyl with stills from thematically related movies and video games, G. Zinsler’s “The Sentinel Script” is a mysterious sci-fi tale and a metaphor of the increasingly nebulous boundary between reality and entertainment. Deliberately referencing classic works of fiction such as “Roadside Picnic” by the Strugatsky brothers and Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”, as well as inspired by J. G. Ballard’s novel “The Crystal World”, “The Sentinel Script” plunges the reader into a multilayered narrative wormhole: while the images describe the activity of the visitors inside the elusive Zone, texts emerge like disruptive transmissions from another dimension, interfering with the visual sequence and its reading. “The Sentinel Script” is both a dystopian journey and a sarcastic reflection on the desensitization of our society.
all images © Georg Zinsler
What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow, 2017) has a part of the games that uses photography mechanics as part of the gameplay. Focusing and taking a picture at the correct subject triggers the story to move forward.
Note: video below is a walkthrough and contains spoilers of the game.
“Twentysix Gasoline Stations in Grand Theft Auto V” by M. Earl Williams, 2014
screenshot of book spread as seen on http://www.blurb.com/b/5454103-twentysix-gasoline-stations, © M. Earl Williams
26 Gasoline Stations was a book and conceptual photography series created by Ed Ruscha in 1963. In my version I take a 4X5 view camera and point it at my T.V. screen while I explore the virtual world of Los Santos in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. This world is created to mimic the real world of California and most specifically the city of Los Angeles. As I visit this world from my couch I wait for something to catch my eye as familiar or visually interesting just like we do when we photograph in the real world. By relating back to this series of travel photographs but having the entire travel log take place in a virtual world of a video game; the work speaks to an idea of another reality in which we occupy and participate in simulated experience. When looking at a photograph the viewer receives visual stimuli of the mind that in return triggers a feeling that is most likely made up of an experience they may have had in the past. This process is not unlike the video game world that is created as an expression of an idealist reality, whose purpose is to provide you with simulated occurrences. This connection between these two mediums may be why the digital age has become so fascinated with them both.
“Twentysix Gasoline Stations” by Alan Butler, 2017
two page spread from book © Alan Butler
This work is a simulacrum of Ed Ruscha’s 1962 publication of the same name. The photographic panels in this version have been produced during drives around the city of Los Santos and Blaine County – the virtual world that makes up the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. Using out-of-the-box technology within the game, I have produced a version of the seminal photography artifact that accepts GTAV as an exploitable corporate reality, akin to the signs and images that make up our own world.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has posted what it called “irrefutable proof” of the US aiding so-called Islamic State – but one of the images was actually taken from a video game.
The ministry claimed the image showed an IS convoy leaving a Syrian town last week aided by US forces.
Instead, it came from the smartphone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.
The ministry said an employee had mistakenly attached the photo.
The Conflict Intelligence Team fact-checking group said the other four provided were also errors, taken from a June 2016 video which showed the Iraqi Air Force attacking IS in Iraq.
The video game image seems to be taken from a promotional video on the game’s website and YouTube channel, closely cropped to omit the game controls and on-screen information.
In the corner of the image, however, a few letters of the developer’s disclaimer can still be seen: “Development footage. This is a work in progress. All content subject to change.”
source: “Russia posts video game screenshot as ‘proof’ of US helping IS”, BBC News – 14 November 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41991012
Vladimir Rizov: Virtual Photography, Immersion, and Boundaries in Grand Theft Auto V.
Photography is a visual practice that deals with the production of images. Images, be it digital or analogue, moving or still, are consistently framed in a particular material artefact. Furthermore, most perspectives tend to see the image as a singular, material final product that is deeply rooted in a teleological framework. However, such perspectives clearly omit the richness of the concept image, as this conference rightly raises the issues of materiality, multimodality, and mediality. In order to demonstrate the inherent multisensory aspect of an image, as well as its rootedness in a practice that is not necessarily teleological, I will explore instances of photographs taken in-game by Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) players. The element of virtuality in the game will reveal several aspects of the image. First, the disembodied element of virtuality poses an interesting relationship between image, medium, and the body (Hansen, 2004). This relates heavily to issues of embodiment and agency, where the two practices of photography and gaming meet. While gaming is widely seen to be concerned with immersion, photography can be conceptualised as a practice of seeing. Second, because images exist dependent on a medium, the contrast between the moving images of the virtual game world of GTA V and the still photographs created will provide opportunity for reflection on the concept of image in its multiple forms. As Vivian Sobchack writes ‘electronic presence has neither a point of view nor a visual situation, such as we experience, respectively, with the photograph and the cinema’ (2000: 151). However, what happens when the third person experience of GTA V coincides with a POV use of a virtual camera? As Galloway points out, shooter games already have expanded the ‘definitional bounds of the subjective shot’ (2006: 63), but the POV use of a virtual camera seems to not only be expanding the experience of the virtual world, but simultaneously questioning it; both allowing for further immersion and potential detachment from the in-game world. This is particularly interesting, since games are widely considered ‘an active medium’ (Galloway, 2006: 83) that involves a player’s physical input and multisensory experience. However, while Galloway claims that ‘the primary phenomenological reality of games is that of action (rather than looking, as it is with cinema in what Jameson described as “rapt, mindless fascination”)’ (2006: 83), the case of virtual photography in-game problematizes this by converging action and seeing into a singular experience.