Project that I found surprising:
Battlefield 1 Virtual Photograghy
I have always dismissed in game screenshots as a form of art. I had relegated them to promotional/vanity shots that try to pass themselves as reality or as mere references to players who have played the game. Initially, I approached the work with the same apprehensiveness, but I was surprised by the focus of the work which fall into neither of my preconceptions. Instead, the screenshots try to capture oddities that could only exist in the game as opposed to trying to mimic reality. These oddities, coupled with the ever more realistic graphics of modern games create an uncanny valley effect that makes the pictures more compelling.
Project I Admired:
We See in Every Direction
This project is a web browser that allows multiple users from across the internet to simultaneously input commands. It started in 2013 and it precedes the twitch Pokémon site that utilizes the same concept in the context of a game. I think this project gives off a hive mind vibe which I found to be compelling. There’s a certain ironic beauty in how a collection of individual intent is able to produce randomness.
Project that could’ve been great:
Casey Reas, “Still Life (HSB B),” 2016
This is probably not a fair criticism as the project might be a test/experimental piece, but I feel that a strong narrative behind the work would make it better. I am not suggesting that the piece should have a story behind it in a traditional sense. Rather, I think it should have some sort of conceptual progression to accompany the visual progression so that the viewers would be more engaged and immersed in the changing patterns. I realize that this might be a personal bias but something as simple as a conceptual description might function as good flavor text for this piece.