‘No life, no dying’: Condo-complex walks inspire video game art at Surrey gallery

Clayton-area resident Sandee Moore creates “Labyrinth: Surrey Condos Edition”

Artist Sandee Moore with her “Labyrinth: Surrey Condos Edition” video game installation at Surrey Art Gallery.

NEWTON — When Sandee Moore first moved to Surrey three years ago, she wasn’t sure what to make of the suburban townhouse complex she found herself living in.

“It sounds like a ridiculous exaggeration,” said the former Vancouverite, “but I really did kind of get lost in the complex when I first moved there.”

She frequently went for walks with her dog and, eventually, found inspiration for her latest work of art.

It’s called “Labyrinth: Surrey Condos Edition,” the largest and most interactive work currently featured at Surrey Art Gallery.

The first-person 3D video game, complete with “Dance Dance Revolution”-style foot pad, hand railing and giant screen, takes up an entire room of the gallery as part of “Views from the Southbank III,” the final exhibit in a year-long celebration of the gallery’s 40th anniversary.

The somewhat interactive game was made to look like her Clayton Heights-area neighbourhood.

“It’s all done in watercolour paint, because I kind of wanted this romantic sense of the paint playing off of the traditional video game aesthetics,” Moore said as she demonstrated her work prior to the exhibit opening Sept. 19.

Tree leaves shimmer in the wind, and the player’s footsteps can be heard on a triggered audio file. Odd objects can be spotted around the complex, such as the perfectly-good panini sandwich resting on a grass median, a child’s owl-shaped purse hanging from a tree branch and a formidable tower of cigarette butts overflowing from an ashtray outside of someone’s door.

The “walker” can only look around Moore’s game environment, which she began creating last January in time away from her work as a tax professional.

“I got thinking, ‘What if I made a really stupid video game and pared away (elements)?’ – kind of like how abstract expressionists remove everything from a painting except for the essentials, which would be the canvas and the pigment. I thought, ‘What can we take away from a video game and still have it be a video game?’ So this is just basically an environment that you can walk through. There’s no life, there’s no dying, there’s no positive or negative consequences to anything, there’s nothing to do.”

Moore learned from her previous video game programming projects that she doesn’t have the skills to make an exciting game.

“I considered making a purposely boring game, stripped of goals, scores, peril and excitement, and thought this aimless game would be a perfect metaphor for the suburbs where I now found myself living,” she wrote in her artist statement for “Labyrinth.”

“Surrey has become a refuge for many that cannot afford the urban metropolis, but are unwilling to forfeit the dream of home ownership,” she continued. “The realization of this dream is an un-peopled labyrinth of domestic architecture and retail spaces. While there is a temptation to view this structure negatively, the labyrinth is a rich and ambiguous metaphor for examining suburbia.”

The gallery’s exhibit, subtitled “Information, Objects, Mappings,” brings together three different sets of artwork by 22 artists. The showcase continues at the Bear Creek Park gallery until mid-December. For details, visit Surrey.ca/artgallery or call 604-501-5566.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Suspected drugs, counterfeit cash seized during distracted driving stop: Surrey RCMP

Police said incident happened near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read