During the reception for “The Almost Metal Collective” exhibition at A+D Gallery in Chicago (Thursday, 1/31), I did a performance recreating the process of videogame-based farming and leveling up in meat-space.
Generally, farming in videogames is the practice of acquiring/accumulating special items (like the gems I fabricated during my performance) in order to become stronger or gain intelligence/spirit/life or reveal secrets about the game storyline. In this performance, I “farmed” gems through the repetitive process of cutting, folding, and hotgluing paper patterns together. Then I played a variety of 8-bit game sound effects for every few gems I created, indicating that I had leveled up!
I also leveled up when I had conversations with strangers, gave hugs to friends, and gave gems away.