Filmoteka Muzeum

Maciej Krygier's work Art Raider (created for the exhibition Really, the Young Are Realists at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in August 2002) is marked by a strong focus on analysis of the medium and the characteristic interlace of artistic and meta-artistic narrations. The artist's intention was to create a computer game with simple rules (and structure borrowed from Unreal) which takes its course autonomously and, once launched, unfolds beyond the player's control.

To that end, Krygier filled the generated spaces of the game (virtual representation of the Ujazdowski Castle) with avatars moving in a specific mode (e.g. they change the course of movement when they come across a wall or do not encounter a barrier for long enough). Thus, the artist created somewhat of a digital ecosystem, where individual avatars interact constantly and condition each other forming a rhizome.

One of the halls of the castle hides a weapon – sword. After a certain time of playing, the avatars, who have so far enjoying quasi-freedom (defenseless at first) spreading chaotically around the rooms, find the sword and use it as programmed.

The figures 'reincarnate' equipped with machine guns in a spot chosen by the designer of the game. The new weapon contributes to a rapid acceleration of the cycle of death and reincarnation, which culminates with equalling the moment of birth of the virtual figures with the moment of their death – in the transformation of the so-called reincarnation spots into highly decorative columns of fire, which burst out continuously with tons of virtual body pieces and streams of blood.

It merits a stress that the above described modification in the game was not programmed by Krygier (nor by the creators), but it resulted from an error (bug) discovered by the artist. At a certain moment the game simply gets blocked, and the final effect is in fact a result of somewhat of 'creativity of the machine'. Krygier programmed his patch in such a way that sooner or later after the launch, regardless of the efforts of the player (who can only delay or accelerate the process), the game gets blocked and displays the spectacular effect.

The subsequent narrations (so-called, turns/play outs of the game????? of the game) rely on clearly repetitive sequences of events following a fixed pattern: avatars spread around the castle, they find the weapon, the cycle of death and reincarnation is accelerated, the game gets blocked. The artist gives up control of the work, seeing his role reduced to merely launching the mechanism at a certain point and stopping it afterwards.

Quoted from: Ł. Ronduda, Strategie subwersywne w sztukach medialnych, Kraków 2006.

Year: 2002
Duration: 5'52"
Language: no language
Source: HD video

© Maciej Krygier

Acquisition date: Feb 21, 2012
Acquisition: deposit
Ownership form: deposit