Suzanne Treister, Fictional Videogame Stills

Suzanne Treister, Fictional Videogame Stills (1991-1992)

In the late 1980s I was making paintings about computer games. In January 1991 I bought an Amiga computer and made a series of fictional videogame stills using Deluxe Paint II. I photographed them straight from the screen as there was no other way to output them that I knew of apart from through a very primitive daisy wheel printer where they appeared as washed out dots.

The effect of the photographs perfectly reproduced the highly pixellated, raised needlepoint effect of the Amiga screen image. Conceptually this means of presentation was also appropriate in that it made it seem like I had gone into a videogame arcade and photographed the games there, lending authenticity to the fiction.

Screenshot 2019-08-23 12.29.02.png

source: https://www.suzannetreister.net/Ampages/Amenu.html

Suzanne Treister, From Fictional Videogame Stills to Time Travelling with Rosalind Brodsky, 1991 – 2005, from ‘Videogames and Art’, Ed. Andy Clarke, Grethe Mitchell, Publ. Intellect Books, UK 2007: https://www.suzannetreister.net/Ampages/Treister_Essay.pdf

 

Raphael Brunk

“A conversation with artist Raphael Brunk” By Ruth Polleit Riechert

Did you reprogram the computer games for that purpose?

Three years ago, there was no software that could be used in computer games to generate images with a native resolution in the three-digit megapixel range, to go beyond a typical screenshot. My idea was: I want to take photos in computer games, but the work must have a certain quality in terms of sharpness and resolution, and it must be printable as very large formats without compromising the quality. Two of my friends who happen to be software developers “wrote” a camera we developed together: it’s a camera simulation. It works like a digital camera, and I can use it to shoot “ingame”.

And later you even reprogrammed computer games, so that the camera could take photos of things, that you usually don’t see in the game.

Exactly. We found a way to get into some kind of meta-level within the game, in which certain elements of the game structure are invisible. Therefore, the images look like architectural models or collages. For example, there is a lantern hovering somewhere, but it has no foundation. This is how the pictures in the “Captures” series were created. During the editing process, each image is rasterised into at least 400 individual image sections, which, based on a particular algorithm, are subsequently reassembled to become one picture.

screencapture-magazine-artland-raphael-brunk-2019-06-04-10_57_23.png

source: https://magazine.artland.com/raphael-brunk/

The Art of In-Game Photography talk + Shooting Virtual Cities: In-Game Photography Workshop

The Art of In-Game Photography, talk with Gareth Damian Martin and Rachel Falconer.

date: 7 July 2018, 12:00,
location: The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Video games present a new territory for photographers, one where the real and the virtual are in constant flux. The spaces created within them are as much places to be explored and experienced as they are entertainment and have given rise to the art form of ‘in-game photography’.

This talk introduces some of the photographic techniques applied by artists to the virtual environment and architecture within games and how their practice fits within a tradition of conceptual photographic work, with reference to photographers such as Thomas Demand and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Artist and writer Gareth Damian Martin presents his work and is joined by digital art curator Rachel Falconer in a discussion of these innovative approaches.

screencapture-thephotographersgallery-org-uk-whats-on-talks-and-events-art-game-photography-2018-07-10-16_19_12-1.png

source: https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/whats-on/talks-and-events/art-game-photography

 

Shooting Virtual Cities: In-Game Photography Workshop, by Gareth Damien Martin

date: 7 July 2018, 14:30-17:30
location: The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Working under the guidance of game photographer Gareth Damian Martin, this workshop gives participants the opportunity to create images that respond to and build upon game environments.

Documenting the city of Los Santos from the game Grand Theft Auto V, participants will work in small groups to produce a portfolio of work that responds to a specific area of the city, and in doing so learn about both game photography as well as ways of seeing, manipulating and documenting game worlds.

This workshop is aimed at both photographers interested in exploring photographic practice in games, those curious about game worlds and in-game photography, as well as those interested in exploring new approaches to street and urban photography.

Participants should bring their own devices to take photographs. No prior experience is necessary.

screencapture-thephotographersgallery-org-uk-whats-on-workshop-shooting-virtual-cities-game-photography-workshop-2018-07-10-16_19_21.png

source: https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/whats-on/workshop/shooting-virtual-cities-game-photography-workshop

Ueli Alder, “out there…”, 2017

Ueli Alder’s “out there…” (2017) is a series that mixes photography from Swiss forests and landscapes from in theHunter: Call of the Wild (Expansive Worlds, 2017). Using infrared film and in-game photography, he plays with the boundaries of perception and challenges notions of realism in the photographic process at large.

screencapture-alderego-ch-out-there-2018-07-02-23_30_49.png

source: https://www.alderego.ch/out-there

screencapture-tagblatt-ch-kultur-fotografie-ich-bin-ein-extremist-ld-917059-2018-07-02-23_22_59.png

source: https://www.tagblatt.ch/kultur/fotografie-ich-bin-ein-extremist-ld.917059

Claire Hentschker – GTA Image Average Series

Claire Hentschker, “GTA Image Average Series”, 2017


Avatar above the Sea, © Claire Hentschker, 2017

Rückenfigur, literally “back-figure” in German, is a compositional device that was often used by Caspar David Friedrich. In Friedrich’s painting Wanderer in the Sea of Fog, the viewer is invited into the composition through a figure in the painting’s foreground that serves as surrogate for the scene. We see the back of the man’s black coat as he stands atop a rocky terrain before the grandness of the sea, horizon, and sky before him. The man gazes into sublime nature, and through him—this Rückenfigur—we, the viewers of the painting, become immersed in the setting and can witness his grand view of the landscape with our own eyes, as if through the back of his head. Grand Theft Auto V presents a similar opportunity for immersion into a landscape by way of an avatar with its back turned—a digital Rückenfigur of sorts.

Owning and playing Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is not the only way to experience the majesty of a digital world that has been created to encapsulate the narrative of the game. Many individuals participate in the YouTube economy of posting and watching videos of gameplay. Such documentation videos are frequently recorded in third-person mode, characterized by the back of an avatar at the center of the screen through which the player navigates the world. With this perspective, the landscape shifts while the avatar remains relatively fixed in the foreground of the scene. Unlike in Friedrich’s world, the Rückenfigur through which we experience the GTA landscape is not necessarily human. There are third-person videos to be found featuring any or all the following protagonists: bikes, cars, trucks, trains, motorcycles, blimps, helicopters, boats, and even all-powerful and immortal deer. (The latter the result of a fantastic artwork by Brent Watanabe.)

The desire to capture the sublime potential of nature through an idealized scene may have begun with Friedrich, but it transcends the ages, as evidenced in the names of uploaded gameplay videos. Excerpts entitled GTA 5 SunsetGTA V: Beautiful sunset flightGrand Theft Auto V—The Drive Through The SunsetGTA 5—Beat The Sunset: A Drifting Montage, only begin to scratch the surface of the vast amount of video recorded by one player’s avatar’s experience of the same algorithmic sunset. These videos consistently feature comments by viewers expressing their gratitude for the video and their shared appreciation of the beauty of the landscape. For example, viewer GTAgreat says, “Good job. Sunset is breathtaking :OOO.”

In this series of works, I want to investigate Grand Theft Auto as a subject of art that transposes Friedrich’s subjective Romanticism to the digital age. I am particularly interested in working with videos that other players have already deemed important enough to share. This collection provides a sampling of GTA’s digital world that incorporates both the gaze of an avatar and the eyes of a living viewer encoded into the experience of the scene. The view and the location presented around the avatar is a representation of what a single player decided to record and share.

To create the images in the series, I employed a technique called “image averaging,” notably used previously by artists such as Jim Campbell and Jason Salavon. The average of a series of digital images is calculated so that the more consistent characteristics shared by the images are rendered in greater detail. In this case, I was using video frames from YouTube videos of GTA gameplay. The game’s avatar, consistently encountering the world around it, remains a constant presence on the screen and is therefore rendered in more detail than the surrounding world. As the world passes by, the avatar remains virtually unchanged, and the contrast between the more realized avatar and the blur of the shifting landscape becomes evident in the resulting images. Each image is the sum of someone’s desire to share an imaginary world through a gameplay video. And, as Sammy R—in the comments section of one of these videos assures us—“This is Art.”

source: http://www.clairesophie.com/gta-image-average-series/

Skawennati – Machinimagraphs

Skawennati has coined the term “Machinimagraph” to identitfy a still image taken from machinima.

She Is Dancing With Herself, © Skawennati, Machinimagraph 16:9, 2015, from http://studioforcreativeinquiry.org/events/skawennati

Skawennati is a pioneering new media artist working with digital art and machinima. She addresses issues of history and identity, and she is behind CyberPowWow, an Indigenously-determined online gallery conceived in 1996, which pave the way for Concordia’s Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace.

artist website: http://www.skawennati.com/