Games and Bugs Come Together as... Art?

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Games and Bugs Come Together as... Art?

The facade 2010, Robert Overweg, Half-Life 2
The facade 2010, Robert Overweg, Half-Life 2

Some people devote hours to finding, reporting, and fixing glitches and bugs. One man photographs them and calls it art.

The debate over whether or not videogames are art rages on, but Robert Overweg takes seeing art in games further than almost anyone else. He documents glitches and bugs in the virtual world, which he sees as "the new public space of contemporary society," and considers the snapshots beautiful.

His series Glitches documents his travels through games such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Left 4 Dead 2, and Half-Life 2 where instead of playing the game in the normal manner, he takes the road less traveled. Eschewing missions, parameters, and goals, he goes to the rarely seen, almost never explored places in games, hoping to catch a glimpse of the world behind the curtain. "I normally don't go out with a predefined plan," he says. "If you do that you will just go home with what you already thought up."

Some don't see the artistic merit of the unaltered screen captures, yet others believe that the seeking out of these flaws and the treatment of them as art are what make them art. Overweg doesn't seem to care if people think his work isn't art, he believes that the debate is validation enough. "That to me is a large part of art," he said, "asking questions, making room for discussion, making people think and look at something in a new way."

Overweg's work has been shown in galleries In Amsterdam, Cologne, and L.A., and can be seen at his website Shot by Robert

Source: New Scientist

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Really, ANYTHING is art these days.

This forum post is art!

Onyx Oblivion:
Really, ANYTHING is art these days.

This post is art!

That is because Art can come from anything. It is objective.

I hate to go all foppy, poncy, coffee shop artsy student guy, but that picture there speaks plenty about the human condition.

I actually really enjoy the aesthetic of that picture.

I can see it being hung in a modern section of an art museum.

I remember seeking out the areas you weren't supposed to get to in vanilla WoW. The wonderfully wierd-ass shapes you saw there and the cliffs just descending into sharp nothingness...it was art!!!

But I wouldn't try and fool anyone that it was worth putting into an exhibition. :P

Gxas:
I actually really enjoy the aesthetic of that picture.

That's what I was about to say. I don't know exactly why, but I really like the vibe that picture is sending. It's nice and calm.

You know, that picture in particular is actually quite nice. I wouldn't have given it a second thought if he hadn't named it "The facade" though.

There might be something to this.

I'VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU, NERDS!

image

yeah....art....
*hollow, marches on, does what sheep should do*
*gave up on sanity and resistance long ago*

_Janny_:

Gxas:
I actually really enjoy the aesthetic of that picture.

That's what I was about to say. I don't know exactly why, but I really like the vibe that picture is sending. It's nice and calm.

Almost like showing the inner freedom you can find from our mundane lives....

Onyx Oblivion:
Really, ANYTHING is art these days.

This forum post is art!

I'm Commander Shepphard and this art is my favourite art in the citadel!

I consider that art. I hope it stays.

Silliness 3:< They're not even cool looking glitches, just getting stuck in scenery.

To be honest, as an art student, I am usualy against the kind of pepole who call an egg in a box a piece of art, but that snapshot acutally looks quite good.

Glitches are cool, and his shots are good but - I could do this. Anyone could do this, and probably do it better than this guy. I'm not saying what he does isn't good as a hobby, but by no means does it deserve an exhibition. This is astoundingly stupid.

Then again, it's probably better than anything at Modern Art museums.

Soviet Heavy:

Onyx Oblivion:
Really, ANYTHING is art these days.

This post is art!

That is because Art can come from anything. It is objective.

You mean subjective, right? It depends on the opinion of the viewer as to whether a particular piece is art. Otherwise, there is some universal definition for art. Which there isn't.

Palademon:
I'm Commander Shepphard and this art is my favourite art in the citadel!

I lol'd. :D

To someone who doesnt know what they are looking at in these screenshots (ie, someone who doesnt really play games and isn't aware of glitches like these) I can see how it could become art. The example screenshot could become the centre of a debate about how the unfinished view represents society's lack of attention to matters beyond its immediate grasp. Or something similar.

However, because its just a screenshot of a glitch it doesnt have the same effect. Its no different in my eyes from those art installations where people put a crumpled shirt on the floor and call it art. To be short, "Without artistic merit".

Redingold:

Soviet Heavy:

Onyx Oblivion:
Really, ANYTHING is art these days.

This post is art!

That is because Art can come from anything. It is objective.

You mean subjective, right? It depends on the opinion of the viewer as to whether a particular piece is art. Otherwise, there is some universal definition for art. Which there isn't.

Whoops, you're right. I always get the two mixed up.

It's only art if it can be exploited.

See Portal speedrun...

Fasckira:

Palademon:
I'm Commander Shepphard and this art is my favourite art in the citadel!

I lol'd. :D

To someone who doesnt know what they are looking at in these screenshots (ie, someone who doesnt really play games and isn't aware of glitches like these) I can see how it could become art. The example screenshot could become the centre of a debate about how the unfinished view represents society's lack of attention to matters beyond its immediate grasp. Or something similar.

However, because its just a screenshot of a glitch it doesnt have the same effect. Its no different in my eyes from those art installations where people put a crumpled shirt on the floor and call it art. To be short, "Without artistic merit".

Yup, the guy that took the picture didnt had that in mind so you cant really say that you see that and understand it. It is just a glitch, it isnt critesising anything and never will. That falls into speculation and over-thinking. Like you said, it doesnt have "artistic merit".

I wouldn't call that picture a glitch or a bug. He's just in a part of the map that doesn't need to have those walls of the building rendered due to the player never actually passing through there. That's intentional. Why waste time loading up that part when you won't be going there?

I guess it can be seen as a form of photography and I respect that. Just like real photography, not every shot is going to have much merit.

hes selling framed copies -.-, for me art has always been something that inspired awe, in any sense, and i guess the imperfection of mankind's creations can be art aswell, but it still needs to be spectacular, the tower of pisa is probably the wildest known example of this, but bugs in a program, something i can easily find myself (if i buy the game at launch, one would hope it would be impossible after a month or two) dont fit my description.

i thought this idea of "intriguing simplistic" (lazy) art died out in the mid 90s, its to soon for a reboot.

Edit; i am a slow poster, i will stop half way through a post because i suddenly thought that brad bird wrote and directed a movie about a talking dog, turns out it was a cartoon series and apparently a good one at that, anyway, allot of people have posted their opinions since then saying that they liked it or found it to be inspiring, so im calling "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" on it, had that picture not been called "the fašade" but instead something less pretentious like "half-life 2 is a bug filled suck fest" or maybe just been on a blog about "hilarious" bugs would you still have found it to be art?

you can always over analyse anything into art, the "get down" meme is a prime example, it could be a symbol of how people caught in the middle of war or being face to face with their own mortality will always feel like they have no control over anything, in the right hands it could have been high art, instead it spawned a meme and a smaller dance craze.

So wait,I've been an artist all these years by taking screenshots of hilarious bugs?
I'm going to release each of them,and I expect payment for every single one!

He could probably fill a entire Art Gallery with glitches just from Fallout New Vegas :P

What makes games qualify as art is different from the qualifiers for anything else, I believe. Which is to say, games being or not being art comes from the fully interactive nature that each individual one brings us. Including their music, visuals, flow of gameplay, and yes, even bugs. There's nowhere else in any other medium of art where you can find all of these things working as one to bring you a unique, single cohesive experience.

Tim Latshaw:
I guess it can be seen as a form of photography and I respect that. Just like real photography, not every shot is going to have much merit.

Indeed. We've come to a point where digital art and digital photography are widely accepted as art much of the time. But the digital wonders that developers craft for their game worlds can't be considered as the same?

I don't get it, it must not be art.
Anyone could have done that, it must not be art.
This is art? it must not be art.

So many people are so fucking dumb; it's unreal. I guess I deserve to be reminded of this since I did click on the comment button.

Anyways. Interesting concept if you consider video-games are a form of self expression or an art-form itself.

josemlopes:

Fasckira:

Palademon:
I'm Commander Shepphard and this art is my favourite art in the citadel!

I lol'd. :D

To someone who doesnt know what they are looking at in these screenshots (ie, someone who doesnt really play games and isn't aware of glitches like these) I can see how it could become art. The example screenshot could become the centre of a debate about how the unfinished view represents society's lack of attention to matters beyond its immediate grasp. Or something similar.

However, because its just a screenshot of a glitch it doesnt have the same effect. Its no different in my eyes from those art installations where people put a crumpled shirt on the floor and call it art. To be short, "Without artistic merit".

Yup, the guy that took the picture didnt had that in mind so you cant really say that you see that and understand it. It is just a glitch, it isnt critesising anything and never will. That falls into speculation and over-thinking. Like you said, it doesnt have "artistic merit".

I have to disagree. The fact that all of us could interpret it to mean something different, and the man taking the shot could have had something else in mind for it entirely, that alone makes it art. It's free for interpretation, just like some of your favorite songs or paintings.

I would accept that image as art if it were made by the 'artist.' However, since all he did was photograph a glitch he found--something just about anyone can do, right down to the pixel--I fail to find the art in it.

Uh, that's not really a glitch (the picture shown). Unless you mean he got outside the map through an exploit. He could have just nocliped, though, which would make it not a bug.

This does remind me of a few circumstances I created and then photographed in my most recent playthrough of HL2, though:

image
I actually managed to get to the top of that.

image
FWI, there's normally not wood walls and crates here.

I kind of want to buy a print of one of these. Would fill a gap on my wall. Anyone know how much?

Soviet Heavy:

Onyx Oblivion:
Really, ANYTHING is art these days.

This post is art!

That is because Art can come from anything. It is objective.

You mean "subjective". It's the complete opposite, how could you miss that? oO

EcoEclipse:
I would accept that image as art if it were made by the 'artist.' However, since all he did was photograph a glitch he found--something just about anyone can do, right down to the pixel--I fail to find the art in it.

Well, the same could be said about regular photography, I suppose.

The whole "i could do that" argument is silly. Art is not only about the end result, but also the thought process and the intention of the author. Those pictures convey emotion and the composition is good. Dadaism and Surrealism come to mind when i look at the shots.

So...is it art? Hell yes.

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