Artist Name:

Karl Munstedt

Title of Work:

Grand Theft Homo VI: Queertopia

Country: USA
Year: 2018

About This Work

Grand Theft Homo VI: Queertopia is an ongoing project of mods, hacks, and queer-ings of the commercial video game Grand Theft Auto V intended to subvert and obscure the hetero-masculine tropes embedded within the algorithms of the game. New mods are added weekly to an online repository, which will augment the GTA world over time piece by piece. All mods are published as open-source files and include instructions for their implementation.

Grand Theft Auto’s codeset influences not only it’s players but also emerging video formats like automated children’s videos, which co-opt the game as a stage to create pseudo-educational videos set to nursery rhymes, many of which retain violent themes of the game and garner millions of views. GTH VI: Queertopia similarly uses the game as a staging space, but carries with it an intention to challenge what is not a neutral platform, inserting a queer future fantasy to counter the game’s intended fantasies of violence and ownership.

“I am a digital artist and technologist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Boston, MA and grew up spending much of my time on the internet befriending strangers and finding numerous cyber boyfriends. Using technologies like gaming, augmented reality, the web, and mobile applications, my work explores issues of queerness, visibility, and fantasy. My work has previously exhibited at and FILE festival. I received a BFA in Interactive Art from Pratt Institute in 2018.”

“My work as an artist and technologist seeks to create new expressions of digital LGBT spaces while also resisting the heteronormativity imbedded in technologies and asserting that the future is queer. I grew up on the internet and I found that my ability to be anyone or completely anonymous in digital space was empowering and I’d like to continue pursuing digital space as a playground for identity. I’m particularly interested in gaming as it has a substantial LGBT audience but also faces a notorious history of homophobia, transphobia, and sexism. My game pieces reject heteronormative and masculine tropes and attempt to convey that gaming itself, and the act of occupying an avatar, is inherently queer. The illustrative and low-poly styles I have developed are bright and colorful in contrast to the dark, sharp, and metallic materials often found in commercial games.”

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