“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.
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.
Installation shots of Lost Worlds at Photo Festival Schiedam 2017, http://www.fotofestivalschiedam.nl/exhibition/lost-worlds/
Lost Worlds in Raw View #8, http://www.rawview.org/product/raw-view-8/
Lost Worlds is a visual exploration for what we perceive as nature, or natural.
The environments in which I make these images are the virtual landscapes of videogames. Where these landscapes used to be cardboard backdrops, they have become seemingly unlimited worlds. Designed to seduce the player to go explore pristine landscapes, they contain lush rainforests, icy mountain ranges, rushing waterfalls and barren deserts. Well-programmed weather systems provide rain, sunshine or snow and day and night cycles add to the ‘realness’ of the experience. To achieve a sublime-as-possible experience, the designs of these landscapes borrow heavily from Romantic interpretations of nature by painters as Caspar David Friedrich and Albert Bierstadt.
more info: http://www.gamescenes.org/2017/02/game-art-robert-wetzers-lost-worlds-2013-ongoing.html
Thibault Brunet is a French photographer who works with images from game environments. His series Vice City (2008) is entirely shot within Grand Theft Auto Vice City and lets us “explore the spaces that are usually forgotten by players. The pictures show side spaces, barren and industrialized areas. The aesthetics reminds us contemporary photo shooting, Japanese engraving and painting. Confusion is over the nature and the origins of these floating pictures”.
A pertinent way of questioning an unusual path, as yet little explored in contemporary creation: the aesthetic elements of video games, diverted and transformed into a work of art.
Amélie Adamo «Wandering in a Virtual World» ETC Magazine
Project page: http://thibaultbrunet.fr/#vice-city-4
In his series First Person Shooter, Brunet isolates landscapes from video games, that look like an uncertain Middle East location, and portraits of soldiers-characters.
Brunet is successfully commenting on the surreality of virtual entertainment worlds created via avatars and algorithms that are in turn based on real-life, drawing us back in to consider the inherent surreality of war itself.
Amanda Lang, Aperture Foundation
Project page: http://thibaultbrunet.fr/#first-person-shooter-3
artist statement from the author’s site:
This series of photographs originates from four popular first person shooter games (Left 4 dead 2, Half-life 2, counter-strike and modern warfare 2) Unlike you might think the virtual world is not round like the physical world but flat with hard-cut edges. These photographs show us how the virtual world ends. What I find interesting about these photographs is that they behold a certain dramatic almost classical feel to them playing with our real life experiences but cut off.
project page: http://www.shotbyrobert.com/?page_id=102
artist portfolio: http://www.robertoverweg.com/
“ILLSNAPMATIX is a celebration of the people, places and things illuminated by the virtual light of Grand Theft Auto” created and curated by Karl Smith.
Modern games now are so beautiful. The lighting and staging really does lend itself to a culture of capturing, sharing and celebrating those images. It’s fun to see that become more interpretive; telling a story or conveying and emotion or sense of place, rather than just “look at this pretty screen grab” (but I’m not knocking that as it’s often an art form in its own right).
page link: http://illsnapmatix.com/
Karl Smith interview link: http://www.psfk.com/2015/02/4k-in-game-photos-from-gta-v-pay-tribute-to-incredible-vistas.html
twitter accounts recommended by Karl Smith: @GlassDk,@MrBrown_C, @chocolate_oishi, @kingcozzie, @O_Sophi,@Ianharvey_, @AriozaOfDeath, and @NorthernScript, as well as the hashtags#GTAphotographers, #Snapography, #GTAphotography and #Snapmatic. “