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Experiments -The work in this area may be an ongoing exploration series, an investigation of an already existing aspect of my practice via new methods or tools, or an exhibition ready work that I simply feel is divergent from the rest of my practice.
A Respite From Modern Speed
Digital Work created within Animal Crossing New Horizons
Conducted as part of the L'Oiseau Residency, organized by Dani Kwan
2022 - Ongoing
A Respite from Modern Speed is an online performance installation that takes place entirely in Animal Crossing New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch.
The L'Oiseau Residency, organized by artist Dani Kwan, brings together six artists with the aim of creating and collaborating on works to exist all or in part within Animal Crossing's game world. A Respite from Modern Speed is a time-based work conducted within this residency.
Aiming to capture the fleeting ephemerality of information, and Animal Crossing’s unique ability to provide sanctuary from this onslaught, A Respite from Modern Speed seeks to create temporary representations of information glut. Daily, for four weeks, the top headline photo from The New York Times will be rendered onto a canvas and placed within the Animal Crossing world. A turnip will be placed on a table surface below the canvas, purchased that week in-game and set to expire on the following Sunday. The next day’s headline portrait will be placed in parallel, with a turnip before it as well, and so on throughout the week. When the turnips expire, they will rot before the canvas, symbolizing the 'passing' of that news story. The space for the installation will be surrounded by televisions/stereos to create a cacophony of competing audio information streams.
I am interested in Animal Crossing’s suspension of the world beyond (specifically from the modern news cycle [ie. doom-scrolling]), as I believe its massive popularity is due in part to this suspension. In contrast to modernity’s constant barrage of expiring information, Animal Crossing’s changes are slow, repetitive, predictable and without danger (the occasional tarantula or scorpion encounter notwithstanding.) Further, very few things expire in Animal Crossing, lending a sense of permanence to information and experience – a sense of permanence that the modern world lacks in its constant shifting and perpetually arising calamities. One in-game exception to all this: the turnip, a ticking timer set to expire if unused. Functioning as an in-game facsimile of the stock exchange, turnips can only be bought on Sunday mornings and must be sold on the Stalk Market by the following Sunday. If they are unsold, they rot, functioning as one of the only in-game, non-permanent devices. By co-opting one of the game’s few intentionally ephemeral elements, A Respite from Modern Speed seeks to probe the outside world’s impermanence within the sanctuary of Animal Crossing’s island. In this work, the placing of the day’s portraits, and the end-of-the week rot could be read as performances – making the work both installation and performance-based work.
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