SMACK Explores Mass Behaviour in Their New Digital Work TRIBE, Eli Anapur, δημοσίευση στο Widewalls [26/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
Sometimes, our collective behaviour and patterns of existence go unchallenged if not for artists who tap into them and create art that is critical of its aspects. These reflections have been presented in different mediums and styles throughout history, from the famous Hieronymus Bosch’s fantastical triptychs to the recent experiments in animation and VR allowed by technological developments.
Collective patterns in behaviour and manipulation are recurring themes in the Dutch collective SMACK‘s work. They often use popular visual references and light-hearted aesthetics to present an uncomfortable and nightmarish reflection of who we are. In their latest work, the Tribe, SMACK developed approximately 300 digitally animated characters — including walking periscopes, swastika-wearing bugs, multi-headed aristocrats, and muscle-bound machos. With variations in texture and colour, these characters are deployed in different scenarios in parts of the Tribe projects, such as Tribe City, Tribe War, or Tribe: Golden Characters.
Developed during the COVID pandemic, they reflect certain tropes of behaviour people exhibited while living in a pandemic bubble. Some even directly reference the last few years, taking shapes of walking hand sanitizers, robot cleaning products, and superhero medics.
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