When I moved to New York City, I experienced a broad spectrum of emotion. I had never visited a city so large – and certainly had never lived in one – so the process of settling in forced me to make a lot of changes to my way of thinking and my daily routine. It was exciting and distressing all at once.
During this time, I was working with modified video game engines as a means of generating abstract art. Players could navigate freely through a simulation of a generic city block, the geometry twisting and distorting around them as they passed through buildings and streets. My varying emotional states began to be reflected in the way I maneuvered through the abstracted space, each recording session conveying a different energy in the way shapes and colors contorted in front of the virtual camera.
Each sequence represents a different stage in my process of adjusting and evolving in response to the drastic change in my environment: from bold and exuberant exploration, to anxious tension, and finally to centered and stable acceptance.
Kent Sheely is a new media artist based in New York City. His work draws both inspiration and foundation from the aesthetics and culture of video games, examining the relationships between the real world and virtual ones. Much of his work centers around the translation and transmediation of symbols, concepts, and expectations from game space to the real world and vice-versa, forming new bridges between simulation and reality.