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DIRTSCRAPER: Peter Burr

DIRTSCRAPER
Peter Burr
Opening Night: October 6th, 5-8pm (BST)
On View: October 7th-13th November, 2021

Gazell.io is pleased to announce artist and computer animator Peter Burr, who will be taking over the Gazell.io Project Space this fall. Burr’s display – a computational artwork, DIRTSCRAPER – is a theorised landscape of an urban development living and dying within a game engine. Originally presented as a multi-channel installation, Gazell.io will exhibit an approximately 90 minute long, cyclical single channel version of the artwork projected on the walls of the project space, immersing the visitor in the architecture of the artwork and in the many mythologies created in this dystopian space.

DIRTSCRAPER simulates an underground structure whose ‘smart architecture’ is overseen by artificial intelligences -spatial and social designers that observe, learn, and make changes to the system. The viewer observes the residents that move through spaces varied economies and class hierarchies, who are unaware of the control exerted by these AI entities. Periodically this system interjects one of the 48 cinematic interludes that reveal different facets of life in this decaying arcology.

Members from the virtual community tell the tale of their surroundings, relationships, and mental health in an attempt to quell the constant noise of their precarious circumstances. The artwork, as a whole, emulates a collective body that has been subjected to the inner workings of a gridded simulation: housing blocks are overrun by industry, residents are displaced, the individual withers. What remains is the story of a constantly kinetic city and the people that persist as inhabitants. The nature of the display makes the visitor quite literally feel as if they are immersed within the infrastructure of this game, almost as an active participant in the never-ending labyrinth Burr has created.

The aesthetic Burr uses so frequently across his body of work, including DIRTSCRAPER, pays homage to the early days of the internet and computer games. Burr has often been related to the artists of the net art movement which emerged during the late 70s and 80s in response to the development of end-user based systems. The work channels the undeniable significance and impact video games have had on digital art. Video Games, like painting, can evoke strong and emotive feelings. Burr was Gazell.io’s artist in residence in January, 2020. Since then, Burr has continued to work with Gazell.io, more recently exhibiting works in Gazell.io’s booth at CADAF Art Fair in Spring, 2021.

“We’re very excited to be working with Peter Burr in our physical project space, with DIRTSCRAPER making its London debut. This is the first time since its inception that the Gazell.io Project Space has exhibited a large scale all encompassing video installation.” Says Mila Askarova, founder and owning director of Gazelli Art House and Gazell.io.

“I like to explore what happens as technology ages. The myth of a machine threatening to destroy humanity has been around for ages, and I am excited to offer alternatives to this tired narrative. I am interested in the anxiety of a future where bodies and buildings alike are embedded with control mechanisms that don’t always benefit the health of those structures. DIRTSCRAPER speaks to problems in the world at this moment, visualizing concepts of power and technology that are taking place both inside and outside the game.” Says Peter Burr, about DIRTSCRAPER.

©2021 Peter Burr, Gazell.io

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