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Games and Bugs Come Together as... Art?

| 15 Dec 2010 20:25
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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