The discussion of whether video games can be considered “fine art” seems to have come to a head in the art world, with the US Government officially recognizing the genre by granting arts funding to it and major museums like the Smithsonian American Art Museum staging exhibitions in its honor. If there was any lingering doubt, one needs only to look at the way the today’s gaming world is perpetually in dialogue with the art world. Whether we’re visiting Marina Abramovic’s 8-bit depicted “The Artist Is Present” exhibition or wasting time to discover painfully cyclical, existential video game paradoxes, we continue to encounter conceptual gaming prototypes that intertwine with the creative arts.
In French digital artist Cyril Lecomte-Languérand‘s new video game project Soul Lewitt v1.1, visitors are invited to virtually wander through a seemingly endless gallery featuring the works of Sol Lewitt, an iconic American conceptual artist who reached international fame and attained critical praise for his geometric colored pattern wall drawings and highly graphic abstract sculptures. Featuring some of Lewitt’s iconic works like Wall Drawing 631, Wall Drawing 413, and Wall Drawing 365, the continuously strolling tour depicts Lewitt’s murals stretching forth down a long hallway without break and with no end in sight. Presented as a video game prototype, the teaser video reminds us of those irritating non-playable demos of games that were given out on a CD-rom with video game magazines back in the day. So far, it looks quite intriguing, and the repetitive, simplistic aspect of the video conjures up visions of either a psychedelic experience or an endless screensaver.
We’re waiting to see how the game materializes in its final, playable version, but if you want to experience Sol Lewitt’s artwork outside Lecomte-Languérand’s virtual realm, the Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective exhibition is currently on display at MASS MOCA. Unable to pull yourself away from your computer screen? Don’t worry, you still have 22 years to get to Massachusetts—the exhibition is on display until 2033.