'Spring.Industries' is a hybrid work composed of a video game and an accompanying film. The film, 'Navigations', documents the various paths players made while walking through the simulated wilderness of the video game. There is no win or fail state; no goal or mission beyond wandering through the landscape. All assets in the digital space were built outside the computer — constructed from photogrammetric scans of found organic objects and hand-made sculpture. This landscape was made in response to our shifting conception of way-finders in the post-digital age. Traditionally, landmarks of these kind were explicitly erected as human interventions in an obscure environment, allowing travellers safe passage through areas of unfathomable wilderness. In digital space however, even objects of nature require human intervention to be represented: the easy categorisation of human contrivance standing against untouched nature therefore becomes emptied. In a virtual landscape the landmark as concept necessarily fails, as object and territory are paradoxically rendered of the same substance. This post-digital requirement becomes an important question to pose in our current geological age. In the time of the Anthropocene, where earth’s every geological system has been affected by human industry, how might one find a symbol in a wilderness of symbols? How might we construct meaning if the dichotomy of human and nature has been dissolved?
Thomas Brett is an artist working in hybrid processes of film, animation and video games. Central to his practice is the transformative capacity of physical objects and their conversion to virtuality or myth. Through analogue construction and their digital capture, Thomas crafts landscapes from these objects; producing hidden narratives of character and space reconfigured in tremulous ontology.