Sin Apocalypse Cash

Bridging Worlds is artist Eron Rauch’s ongoing series of in-depth articles on the curious places of connection between video games, contemporary art, and culture. This is the final part of a four-part essay on The Beginner's Guide - the previous parts can be found here

“It’s hard to create a narrative of success when you’re the dark matter against which the stars shine, but I find that it’s important for artists to be able to articulate what is valuable about art beyond prices and the market.” -William Powhida

Continuing last week’s discussion of the The Beginner’s Guide as an attempt to trigger an apocalypse to wipe clean the slate of video games, it is useful to note that in Japanese creation circles, there is a genre of animation and comics called sekaikei (literally: “world type”). This genre places a single character, almost always male and young, as the center agent in the future apocalypse. This character’s psyche alone gets to remake the world, but only as it burns to ashes. The interior becomes the all-consuming exterior. While perhaps the capstone of this genre, Neon Genesis Evangelion is unique that that it leverages the dark logic of fandom to subvert its perfect apocalypse and decry the passivity and literalism that threatened to stifle the future of anime fandom.

Bridging Worlds is artist Eron Rauch’s ongoing series of in-depth articles on the curious places of connection between video games, contemporary art, and culture. This is the third part of a four-part essay on The Beginner's Guide - part one and two can be found here

“One of the greatest things about being an artist is, as you get older, if you keep working hard in relationship to what you want the world to be and how you want it to become, there is a history of interesting growth that resonates with different moments in your life.“ -Catherine Opie

In last week’s installment of “Sin, Apocalypse, Cash” I discussed ways that replaying The Beginner’s Guide provides expanded choices for audiences to interact with the game, and how those supposed choices are still mired in a simplistic and antisocial framework for art. Yet, let’s approach The Beginner’s Guide again from another angle to see if there is perhaps another, less obvious, social interface that is happening.

Bridging Worlds is artist Eron Rauch’s ongoing series of in-depth articles on the curious places of connection between video games, contemporary art, and culture. This is the second part of a four-part essay on The Beginner's Guide - part one can be found here

“Why, impervious to both affirmation and negation, why in the world this insistent, subsistent, irrepressible, pure repetition be it of nothing, why a picture? Why this picture?” -Jacques Roubaud “Some Thing Black”

In the first portion of this essay I examined why players of The Beginner’s Guide often perceive the game to be a trap, and the ways in which the game’s internal logic leads it to formulate art as martyrdom. But what if I’m approaching the game from the wrong angle? What if I overly focused on the naive macho egotistical vision of art and the purifying flames of antisocial creative angst? There certainly seems to be a radically alternative way to approach the game in a second play-through.

Bridging Worlds is artist Eron Rauch’s ongoing series of in-depth articles on the curious places of connection between video games, contemporary art, and culture. This is the first part of a four-part essay on The Beginner's Guide.

“What is important is not so much what people see in the gallery or the museum, but what people see after looking at these things, how they confront reality again.” -Gabriel Orozco

When I mention that I’m working on an article about The Beginner’s Guide, first there is a pregnant pause, mouth slightly open, then a lingering awkward silence. Then the seemingly inevitable question follows, “Did you play The Stanley Parable?” eyes narrowing, moving side to side, as though scanning the horizon for the shadows of danger.