November 1- December 31, 2021
Artist Notes on the Games in this Exhibition
Notes on STARE AT THE SUN and BAG (plastic): LEARNING HOW TO GET STUCK IN A TREE, LIGHT POST, OR UTILITY POLE
Video games are not something I have been interested in prior to making these works. I am a teacher. I was asked to teach a video game class in the art department where I am an instructor. These works came out of my research for creating the class.
I have made works about the sun prior to this work. Often putting myself or some other self in relation to it. I think of it as enlarging the human corpus to a celestial scale. The works have included attempting to sink below the horizon in tandem with the setting sun; in a boat out in a body of water: trying to sink through the crust of the earth and attempting to train the sun to burn a hole through a sand dune. Another work involved installing instructions in an open field that direct the general public to stare at the sun on a clear day until one's vision has significantly changed. One would now see the sky as golden hued instead of blue.
I became interested in what happens if I translate the experience of staring at the sun into a web-based experience. In the game environment, I think it has moved away from the supposed joy that Goethe and JMW Turner experienced from letting the sun seer into their retinas that produced prolonged after images. In STARE AT THE SUN, the image on your screen slowly washes away after staring at the sun for several minutes. I find the first moments beautiful, I am pulled into gazing at the way the virtual sun eats away at the edges of the central structures and starts to reflect the golden glow from the sun's rays. I am unsure how to describe the last 2/3's of the experience. Virtual solar retinopathy begins to occur in the vision of the first person player. I want to think of it as a cleansing meditative experience, but maybe in the web environment it becomes more about endurance, finding the will to watch something just on this side of stillness unfold.
BAG (plastic): LEARNING HOW TO GET STUCK IN A TREE, LIGHT POST, OR UTILITY POLE is not rooted in my past practice. In one of the labs I teach, the only window in the space looks down onto a large maple tree at the intersection of Woodward and Warren in midtown Detroit. In the fall semester, you watch the leaves slowly turn and fall off and reveal the plastic shopping bags that have become stuck in its branches. In the winter semester, you watch the wind whip and further tangle the bags in the tree. Towards the end of the semester, the leaves come back and hide the bags. Bag watching became a pastime. I attempted to translate the experience into a virtual web-based third person player experience. My favorite part still is watching the bag get stuck and the wind that wraps it around the object. In this game, it's no longer a passive voyeuristic experience. One is trying to make it happen. Would it be a better game to sit and watch your favorite tree until, by chance, a bag floats into the branches and is internally tangled?
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- Click on the game image to start the game
- Play full screen, click the full screen icon in the lower right corner
- Not supported on mobile devices
- Launch time can vary due to wifi strength
- There are three levels in each game
Use the w,a,s,d ,the arrow keys, track pad, and the mouse to navigate the space of each game.
STARE AT THE SUN
Walk under the hole in the ceiling, use the platform to get yourself closer to the sun.
Let the orange traffic cone guide you where to stand.
Look up at the sun, keep looking, let it seer into your vision, keep your gaze fixed for five minutes.
Let the sun wash your vision clear.
This will take you to the second of the three levels of STARE AT THE SUN
BAG (plastic): LEARNING HOW TO GET STUCK IN A TREE, LIGHT POST, OR UTILITY POLE
Dream that you're a bag, imagine you're a plastic bag, or will yourself into being a plastic shopping bag.
Float on top of the wind and use it to guide yourself towards a tree, a light post, or a utility pole.
Let the wind wrap you around it tight, hold in place until you are stuck, keep yourself adhered as the wind pushes you deeper in.
This will take you to the second of the three levels of BAG (plastic): LEARNING HOW TO GET STUCK IN A TREE, LIGHT POST, OR UTILITY POLE
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