Machinima exhibition on Immortality curated by Isabelle Arvers for Overkill Festival in NL
The Overkill is a 48 hours nonstop festival which regroups an art exhibition, a selection of indie games, an alternative movie program, live performance and many activities such as workshops, master class, talks… all selected around our theme and presented together in an original and immersive setting. I am thrilled to join the team this weekend to present this machinima selection, Marie Janin, Overkill Festival’s art director asked me to curate;)
“Writing about immortality in Egypt is being exactly at the right place. Egypt can be considered as the mother country of immortality with its ancestral knowledge on how to preserve bodies and the needs a human being will have to use along its never ending journey. This desire of remaining alive beyond death is more than present 5000 years later, as we are still trying to exceed our condition of simple humans…
Virtual worlds open the door to all our transhumanist desires. Gamers can experience this death that doesn’t kill, these fights from which they never suffer. That’s the Safe Society offered by Martin Lechevalier: a world where you don’t die, in which drugs are safe, kids are disease free… You can commit suicide, one after the other, 99 times even if you want but you will still remain part of the game like in the 99 problems, an online performance in GTA created by Georgie Roxbie Smith to raise awareness on how gamers behave towards women.
But until it is not recorded it only belongs to gamers’ experiences and doesn’t last for the others. That’s what machinima – making 3D movies in real time inside a virtual environment – can provide : they allow us to document these game experiences and share them.
In Bitsplit Florian Dioude superimposes many layers of the same game scenes of Fallout 2. It makes avatars appear and disappear like ghosts. Gamers dialogs leave traces of their former presence, in this film they become evanescent, almost unreadable. This sensation of being somewhere but invisible to the others, also takes place in Martin Pleure by Jonathan Vinel. Martin wakes up one day and all his friends have disappeared. He looks for them desperately but no one knows where they are, only Non Player Characters unable to communicate with him inside GTA. Even trees cannot answer his questions…
That’s a possible problem with immortality : you remain alive but alone, all the others – the ones you loved and who knew you – have all disappeared. That’s what also experiences the fictitious character of Crossover (the scene) by Ahmed El Shaer. In his search for a place where death doesn’t exist, he walks and walks and finally finds it, but getting back to his hometown, he discovers he lost his family and beloved…
On the contrary, Robert Stoneman created a vibrant tribute to his father who just passed in Rusty Whispers : Dennis using a game engine for this very short and poetic film to animate his memories. Because besides everything, it is in our memory that the ones who passed remain immortal. The recovery of the past can be sometimes hazardous as it happens in Liz Solo science fiction The Wide Sky : the archive. Digging into the past memory makes future researcher cries, as much as her tears end up as an ocean that flows over everything, in a perpetuous wave movement, never ending but never the same.”
Isabelle Arvers, in front of the red sea in Dahab Paradise, nov 2018
Isabelle Arvers in an author, an art curator and a game artist. Her field of investigation is the immaterial, through the relationship between Art, Video Games, Internet and new forms of network related images and digital imaging.