DIARY: HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? SHARE YOUR MOOD WITH THE DIARY
DIARY: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GAMING AS A CATEGORY OF HUMANS’ BEING? WHAT IS A GAME PARTICULARLY FOR YOU?
Yuliya: Games help people to develop, learn new things, accelerate logical thinking, dexterity, attention, interaction with each other, rest, entertainment and so on. Also, games have great potential for creativity, self-expression and artistic expression.
DIARY: WHAT IS GAME ART FOR YOU? HOW HAVE YOU COME TO THE PRACTICE OF WORKING WITH THIS MEDIUM? HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE WHEN A GAME IS ART OR JUST AN ENTERTAINMENT?
Yuliya: As one artist I know used to say, ‘art games must be painful.’ In the sense that they don't have to be easy to understand or even to interact with. They can deal with complex themes both directly, through the story, and through game mechanics, user interfaces, and controls. Therefore, the player may be challenged not only to understand what the game is about, but also what to do in it in general and how. And the game will not necessarily help with this. For example, in ‘Mu Cartographer’, a game by Titouan Millet, most of the time is spent on learning its unusual interface. And to pass the episode Chernodyrsk from our ‘Overseas’ game collection with Rita Skomorokh, you need to figure out where everything is going and accept the inevitable.
This is one of the key differences between art games and games as entertainment - moving away from genre clichés, rethinking popular mechanics, or refusing to use them. As a result, the player may not understand how to handle the object, give it up, and write a comment that it is not a game at all, because it does not meet his/her expectations and ideas about games, or is not entertaining enough.
DIARY: WHAT IS VIRTUALITY? DO YOU PERSONALLY PREFER TO EXHIBIT YOUR WORKS OFFLINE OR ONLINE? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE FOR YOU?
Yuliya: I like presenting my work both online and offline. Especially since I have not only digital works, but also non-digital game-art on the theme of video games and their development. Once I had a small solo exhibition in which computers and big screens were combined with handmade objects made of cardboard and 2D prints. In particular, there was a huge cardboard blueprint with a possible algorithm for the behavior of the exhibition visitor. A thing that few people understand, except game developers, but it is tangible. And with the help of its tangibility it makes this incomprehensible more intimate and familiar.
At the end of last year I started the project "Post 3D painting" - painting, inspired by digital games and 3d-graphics. An exhibition of these works could have taken place offline, but the project is now on pause. The paintings in digitized form will appear in my art-game project "Yuha's Nightmares".
DIARY: IMPROVISATION. HERE YOU CAN SHARE ANYTHING YOU WANT WITH THE DIARY AND A WHOLE WORLD
Yuliya: As I was writing this text, I realized that I would really like to keep making games. It's pretty hard right now, but the game 'Yuha's Nightmares', which I've been making intermittently because of the "plague and war", is a project I really need to digest what's going on in the world and share my feelings. The Unreal Engine will take it all.
Yuliya: Right now I am excited about my emigration from Russia. It helps me not to drown in the hard feelings because of Ukraine and what is happening now in my homeland, Russia: the persecution of activists, the fight against dissent, the ban on anti-war statements.
After February 24, my image of the future disappeared, my usual activities lost their meaning. But the worries of moving and getting to know some wonderful people set out some prospects.
Yuliya Kozhemyako (Supr), La forêt, 2015
Game art for me has to do with reflecting on the medium of a video game, or thinking about anything, including other mediums, through the medium of a video game. It is a search for basics, typical traits, and their atypical use or violation. For me, though, game art isn't necessarily just about hacking, it's about the skillful and meaningful use of expressive media. But the point is that sometimes to achieve this you have to hack, disassemble, scrutinize the details, and perhaps find their hidden functionality.
As for choosing a medium for creativity... It happened gradually. Since childhood I've been fond of drawing and has been engaged in art school. Later I got interested in computer graphics and cinema and worked in game development as a second artist. But I wanted more. I wanted to create moving images where I could move around and interact with them. And one day I realized that this was video games. Since then I have been making my work based on this understanding of the video game medium.
Off-line exhibitions for me are often virtual, if they are not in my city and I don't have a chance to edit and see the exhibit. Sometimes I feel a pronounced insecurity that this exhibition or event is really happening. It's like my game is involved in some event, but it's like I'm not involved in it. But feedback is slowly catching up to me though - mostly people I know can write that they've seen my work at an exhibition, even a couple of months after it opened. In online game stores and social networks feedback is faster and easier to manage.