The project 127715:
Art created in The Sims 4

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Credits: Diana Artemieva (RU), Kate Umnova (RU), Irina Rusakova (RU)

In The Sims 4 it is possible to make a game character an artist and paint by reference: sim stands next to the easel, sets the canvas, then the first-person camera turns on, player selects an angle and takes a picture, which game character, simulating the painting process, transfers to the canvas. To do this, sim spends time and money (on canvas, brushes and paints). «Painting by reference» looks similar to painting in real life. Artwork does not completely replicate the game reality, the game overlays it with the texture of an oil painting. The project 127715: Art created in The Sims 4 consists of an in-game exhibition and a catalogue of works within it. The project suggests relocating sim paintings into the physical world and transferring game currency to dollars in order to create an experience of a simulated auction. The exhibition features the artwork of sim Be Laer. According to the game rules, her painting skill is perfected to the maximum. She received the title of «Master of the Real», other simulants are convinced of her professionalism and consider her a celebrity. The simulacrum paintings created in the game are not projections, they are not imaginary, they create their own reality. Each of the 75 art pieces is transferred to a separate physical storage device, a CD. This disc includes an in-game save file with the work of art which is located in the gallery. Once all 75 save files are burnt on the discs, the original one with all the paintings will be deleted. It is necessary to preserve the uniqueness of the art pieces. As for Be Laer, after the paintings are put up for sale, she will face an inevitable death. The only question is what exactly the end of her life will look like? There are two possible outcomes: the first is death from the loss of uniqueness. Together with all the save files she is multiplied by 75, and because of the existence of a huge number of her perfect copies life loses its meaning and comes to an end. The second option is a simulacrum of death. It is in-game death played out according to all rules, no matter what the cause of death is picked: from old age, in the fire, from exhaustion or from starvation. If Be Laer is a real artist, then her death must be real, too.

The project 127715: Art created in The Sims 4

HSE Garden Pavilion is a platform which presents the diversity of young artists’ views on Ars Electronica2021 key topic — A New Digital Deal. The Pavilion’s agenda includes digital exhibitions, sound performance, and a collection of in-browser games. All projects are created by students and alumni of HSE University, one of the leading young universities worldwide (QS 50 Under 50), and the best Russian university in the field of Art & Design (QS-2021).

The Pavilion’s projects dwell on the ambiguous nature of social networks’ transparency; the digital perception of the female body; how to make an artist out of a game character; understanding a person with attention deficit disorder and dealing with frustration about one’s behavior in the face of approaching deadlines. The Garden also offers sonic portals—a speculative digital sound environment and a Garden castle exhibition, filled with digital sculptures, videos, and photos.

The program also includes a round-table discussion that will unite specialists in media history, semiotics of contemporary art, game studies, digital art and design to rethink perspectives of the online condition humaine.

HSE ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL is the branch of Higher School of Economics National Research University, one of the leading universities of the Russian Federation, enlisted in the best 40 young world universities and being recognized the best Russian institution of higher education in the Art&Design category according to the leading international educational rating QS-2021. The current number of students is above 3000 taking the bachelor and master programs, postgraduate studies and additional education. HSE ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL also offers courses for children in more than 15 educational programs.​​​​​​​

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