Week 98_AVAKIN #OpenCall / by Anti Materia

AVAKIN #opencall is a screenshot based digital exhibition that exists in a parallel between the game space of Avakin Life and the contribution of 20 different artists that occupy the same visual space.

The show intends to appropriate a digital gallery with the use of the avatar presence, blending visions between game and artwork.

The capturing of angles through the screenshot process not only allows the viewer to create a new photographic still reality of what is seen as a digital body but implement an outside vision of where elements are going to be inserted, therefore, taking advantage of already rendered values, light measurements and UV textures. 

Digital realities exist forever as code and whether they are altered in their source, visual constructs of space might still offer many kinds of fields of exploration.

Utilizing the photographic qualities of capturing the own constructions of reality, and inserting foreign elements so as they look part of something bigger, visually adventuring perceptions of digital presence, throwing out of bounds visions on paths already traced inside programmed spaces.


"This exhibition was really born out of the whole context of out of bound explorations in gaming, and in a way an old habit that for myself I've been reinventing which is to really to take screenshots and capturing game moments in an archival and photographic manner, and just trying to make the most out of what that medium has to offer in terms of vision and the all-time unnatural constancy of its digital reality. So, taking that and implementing it to a curatorial, and #opencall view, I used the Avakin game as tool, since as a mobile game, you can get screen sized captures easily anywhere you are. The Bower Gallery map, was already there, and will always be, we didn't alter it in any way, instead we created a parallel vision of it, using stills of its reality, and inserting foreign elements in it that are supposed to emulate its natural qualities.

The decision of screen capturing comes from an exercise, firstly of imagining the space as already a guided vision through its own visuality, the eyes of the avatar, which in case is an artist. But that avatar is not the same as an artist, since its physical qualities are different, and the way it interacts with the space. Things such as corner glitching or just flying in second life don't really represent human visions of spaces, and even those navigated have their own special qualities. #gamespaceappropriation is not a new concept, since people have been modifying games for art since the early days, and making digital spaces into exhibition sights for the same reasons. But the same techniques and tools were applied to whole other niches of uses from the internet that participated in the most varied uses of bending those spaces.

The construction of the exhibition was made out of an online #opencall with some artists invited, that composed a team of 20 artists in total. After receiving all the material, I gathered a full screen shot map of the gallery following a tour vision of what I wanted to show throughout the whole context, and inserted the pieces using perspective tools and post editing.

- Felipe Filgueiras