VIRTUAL QUEER UTOPIAS
Andy Nicho Li, My Pet Fish, 2017, video 5:01 minutes, USA, https://www.instagram.com/semi_homemade/
This is a meditation on pet death, the spontaneity of some tragedies, the little missions in life that bring out strange and intimate relationships. It was created using the game development engine Unity.
Kayla Anderson, SetOutputWorld (a world of the wrong size), 2016-17 (ongoing), video 5:41 minutes (maybe also a webGL environment?), USA, http://kaylanderson.com
A group of people decide to devote all of their energy towards recreating the world as a digital image.
SetOutputWorld (a world of the wrong size) is a navigable virtual terrain that plays with ideas of speculative archeology, material alchemy, and encapsulation. At the core of the work is a fascination with the double-edged sword of preservation and the history of plastic as a once utopian and now dystopian material.
ellen.gif, Love Song Dedications, 2017, machinima video 3:30 minutes, Australia, http://ellengif.technology https://www.instagram.com/ellen.gif/
Love Song Dedications explores online fixations of users we interact with in an online setting. ellen.gif has created her online crushes as characters via Sims, which she serenades with pop songs from the early 2000s. By constructing playful interactions, ellen.gif is exploring feminine fixations and how these differ from the typical male gaze. Tenderness, curiosity, and longing for romantic connection are pushed to the forefront.
Alex Hovet, Counter-Charge, 2015, machinima video 12:48 minutes, USA, http://alexhovet.com/ https://www.instagram.com/alexvhovet/
Counter-Charge explores the gender dynamics of the 1989 adult-oriented computer series Leisure Suit Larry, proposing disruptive alternatives for male spaces and desires through non-binary directives and feminine control.
Pewkazilla @ glamow, The transzone, 2017, online game & video trailer 1:04 minutes, Australia, www.pewkazone.com Download the game here: https://glamow.itch.io/the-trans-zone
The Trans Zone is a F P R P G PIXEL -G-A-M-E
You’ve traveled to the Trans Zone and begun your quest in becoming True To Yourself™. After Seeing doctors, psychologists and explaining to everyone in your life what the dealio is – you’ve been given the go ahead to hide away in the safest place there is to begin HRT – best you not come back for a bit tbh, give people time to adjust
So off you go now kiddo! Journey through the land and meet its people, befriend others and obtain hormones to transition. How will you turn out? Will you Pass? Will you break out of the binary?
Find (Out For) Yourself
Karl Munstedt, Something in the Water, 2017 preview, online interactive webGL
USA, http://www.karlmunstedt.com/ Play the game online here http://www.karlmunstedt.com/something/
Something in the Water is a game set in a world in which mass leakage of atrazine, an herbicide known to feminize male frogs, has transformed the landscape into a queer utopia. Full game to be released Spring 2018.
Katherine Corcoran, bruise, 2017, video 50 seconds, Australia, http://katherinecorcoran.net/
[also video works Swell and Bend. Consider for Lightwell installation]
The work syncs the embodied with the simulated and considers modes of existing and desiring that splinter from the norm. Investigating the potential for queer subjectivity and atypical modes of desire to be explored as virtual centres of power, it looks towards a subtle body politic and mindful contemplation where queerness can reveal utopian ideals. A flesh that flows, a sound that fucks, a platonic hard on.
Laurel Beckman, It’s Stonewall in My Navel, 2016, video 7:35 minutes, USA, http://www.laurelbeckman.com
The impulse to daydream (causing impatience or disassociation in 1st part of video) is met with a forbidding twitch towards darkness that denies the benefit of getting lost in your mind. In the video, the navel-gazing subject travels inside and outside her body, where her navel plays host to revelers at Stonehenge and Stonewall. Uncertain histories, monumental status and ritual are teased and morphed between the two sites.
The Stonewall Inn, site of the liminal 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, was a dance bar. Such places concretize dreams and consequences of queer-dom in the 20th century and beyond (see Pulse slaughter, 2016). Stonewall itself is modeled here based on first person accounts of the iconic bar, where against the full-moon early morning hours of June 28, 1969, queers raged against oppression. They threw pennies, bricks, beer bottles, a trash-can, and a parking meter. In the video they, we, and those tools of rebellion dance, affirming that past, present & future, celebration and protest, are not mutually exclusive.
Fengyi Franklin Zhu, Walking Down the L Train, 2016, interactive website, USA, http://fengyizhu.com/
It was a couple days later after I was notified that The L train (NYC Subway Line) is going to shut down for maintenance, I decided to walk through the entire train because maybe by the time it is back in service again I will no longer live in Williamsburg. I never walked through a subway train in New York because each carriages is not directly connected and instead there is a door in between. This piece fictionally documented my entire process.