Friday, 10 July 2009

A Stupid Musing

Okay. Here is the thing I have been considering. It is very stupid in a way. It concerns virtual worlds, and images produced from them. So we have a case in point, let's take an image from my World of Warcraft Screenshot folder:

Photobucket

Ok. Now the issue I've been considering is: 'Whose work is this?'. Is it the work of Blizzard, or is the work of me? Sure, Blizzard made everything in the picture; from the character to her clothes to the environment, but I controlled the Camera, and decided when to take the shot. And it's not like the average photographer taking pictures in the real world has any control over the content of his images apart from arranging and posing objects and people. Now, this question seems to have been answered somewhat with regards to moving images and sound; machinima is a thriving little industry, and I don't think games companies are exerting any ownership over that (are they? This might bear research). Arising from this query, another. Could screenshots ever be considered a valid artform? You could probably play with such an idea in an interesting way. Imagine taking screenshots from videogames, printing them out as negatives onto acetate, then blowing them up into enormous large format photographs. It also opens up other ideas. If one was to make paintings from screenshots, would that just be glorified fanart, or something else entirely? These are ideas that have been brimming up from extending my paintings based on webcam screenshots into other directions. Those are coming along to various degrees by the way. I have one finished that I am extremely happy with, but having called shenanigans it can wait for the morrow. The other two of my planned triptych have been less successful. I may transfer back to painting on cartridge paper for a bit, as I am burning through canvases at a stupid rate, and you can't really scrape acrylics. The screenshot idea also plays into a series of paintings I have been thinking about based on stills from the film 'Suspiria'.

Ideas bubbling away! Got to keep making.

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