Brown, A., Iseli, T and Warburton, A (2020). Capture. RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia 07 Sep - 24 Oct 2020
CreatorsBrown, A., Iseli, T and Warburton, A

The piece consists of an interactive multimedia ‘game’ which requires the player to conceal themselves and remain still and silent to allow a landscape to grow and move. The work was curated for public display in the show The Image Looks Back, at RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, in Spring 2020, as part of the biennale PHOTO2020.

The work was the product of a team comprising Adam Brown, Tabea Iseli and Alan Warburton, and won the 2018 Post-Photography Prototyping Prize, organised by Fotomuseum Winterthur, the Photographers’ Gallery, London and the Julius Baer Foundation. The piece was built in 24 hours, in a ‘hackathon’ involving competing teams selected by a panel of experts. It combined team members’ individual skills in games design, photography and CGI modelling.

ContributorsBrown, A.
Keywordsphotography, video games, physical gaming, digital imaging, networked image, computer generated imaging, games design
Date03 Jun 2020
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Like a wildlife photographer or hunter, the player of the game needs to remain still and silent to produce a desired image. Using face recognition, audio and sonar sensors, the game reacts positively to a lack of bodily interaction – detecting the player’s absence, a natural landscape restores itself and comes alive. In the context of debates about surveillance, sustainability and consumption, the team’s inventive and critical reframing of gameplay explicitly reacts negatively to any impulse to actively engage, provoking reflection on destructive and constructive behaviours.

The work was praised by competition judge Nadine Wietlisbach, director of Fotomuseum Winterthur, as ‘a reflection on the phenomenon of the photographic today, including an original commentary on the role of the photographer and the act of capture.’

Since winning the prize in 2018, the work has been presented at the EVA Conference, London, 2018, organised by the Computer Arts Society, as well as the Royal Geographical Society’s Digital Geographies Research Group annual symposium in July 2019, and eventually selected by a team of high profile international curators for inclusion in the show ‘The Image Looks Back,’ to be shown alongside a number of prestigious international artists making cutting edge work about the changing status of photography in the age of machine vision.

The interaction by the three team members involved a critical investigation of their own discipline in relation to each others’, and a genuine collaborative expansion of their practices. The work allowed for a rich discussion about the relationship between photography, computer-generated imaging and games design. Experimenting with physical game interfaces, conceiving photography as a behavioural ‘game,’ and the production of generative computer images that react to negative stimuli expand the disciplinary repertoire of each team member. The work represented a critical confluence of three rapidly changing disciplines, in the context of demands for continuous alertness and interaction within the ‘attention economy’.

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Deposited09 Jun 2020
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