Sickhoes #4 Wandering at the edges of the world

September 02–06 October, 2023

For the fourth iteration of the video program in Sickhoes, Sickhouse selected 2 poetic machinimas exploring the edges of virtual worlds. What happens when, through its avatar, the player wanders far from the action of the game to the edges of the virtual environment. What are the limits of the world around the main action, how far can you run away, climb above or look down? Where does it break and what do you become in these liminal spaces?

Natalie Maximova
- THE EDGE OF THE WORLD machinima / 8:50 min. / 2021
This video work explores the "out of boundaries" landscape of the game Cyberpunk 2077. We are tempted to think that landscapes just go on and on indefinitely. But where does a landscape begin – and where does it end? Where is its edge? Does the virtual world have a limit? Natalie Maximova is pushing against invisible boundaries, discovering and documenting the rough edges of the game world and exposing the representational logics behind it.

Calum Rodger
- ROCK, STAR, NORTH. machinima / 23:06 min. / 2022
Rock, Star, North. is a poetic travelogue set in the Grand Theft Auto V universe, inspired by the wanderings of Wordsworth, Basho and Nan Shepherd shot entirely in-game. In 2016, Glasgow-based poet Calum Rodger undertook a poetic odyssey inside San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto V’s hyperreal replica of California. In 2017, he chronicled his journey in a 20-minute performance poem titled Rock, Star, North, which premiered at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh in May of that year. In 2021, the poem achieved its final form: a machinipoem, composed entirely of footage from the game, alongside an all-new reading and updated text.
“And having been a gamer my whole life, these poets’ work provided a framework in which I could quasi-parodically propose that the ‘virtual sublime’, such as it is, is no less worthy a subject for the ‘romantic’ treatment than nature itself. “ Calum Rodger. Interview with Matteo Bittanti.