HSE Garden Pavilion

The project 127715: Art created in The Sims 4

Diana Artemeva (RU), Kate Umnova (RU), Irina Rusakova (RU)

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In The Sims 4 it is possible to make a game character an artist and paint by reference: sim stands next to the easel, sets the canvas, then the first-person camera turns on, player selects an angle and takes a picture, which game character, simulating the painting process, transfers to the canvas. To do this, sim spends time and money (on canvas, brushes and paints). “Painting by reference” looks similar to painting in real life. Artwork does not completely replicate the game reality, the game overlays it with the texture of an oil painting. 

The project 127715: Art created in The Sims 4 consists of an in-game exhibition and a catalogue of works within it. The project suggests relocating sim paintings into the physical world and transferring game currency to dollars in order to create an experience of a simulated auction. The exhibition features the artwork of sim Be Laer. According to the game rules, her painting skill is perfected to the maximum. She received the title of “Master of the Real”, other simulants are convinced of her professionalism and consider her a celebrity. 

The simulacrum paintings created in the game are not projections, they are not imaginary, they create their own reality. Each of the 75 art pieces is transferred to a separate physical storage device, a CD. This disc includes an in-game save file with the work of art which is located in the gallery. Once all 75 save files are burnt on the discs, the original one with all the paintings will be deleted. It is necessary to preserve the uniqueness of the art pieces. 

As for Be Laer, after the paintings are put up for sale, she will face an inevitable death. The only question is what exactly the end of her life will look like? There are two possible outcomes: the first is death from the loss of uniqueness. Together with all the save files she is multiplied by 75, and because of the existence of a huge number of her perfect copies life loses its meaning and comes to an end. The second option is a simulacrum of death. It is in-game death played out according to all rules, no matter what the cause of death is picked: from old age, in the fire, from exhaustion or from starvation. If Be Laer is a real artist, then her death must be real, too.

Diana Artemeva (RU) — artist, BA student (Media art, HSE University) Diana Artemieva studies digital culture. In her artistic practice, Diana addresses subjects of human emotions and the ways technology has affected human life. Diana explores the contemporary art market and principles of art evaluation. Group exhibition: “Dia-Logs”, HSE Online Gallery, 2020.

Irina Rusakova (RU) – Game design and virtual reality student. Studies in HSE Art and Design School since 2018.

Kate Umnova (RU) — multimedia curator, lecturer (Multimedia art and Multimedia design, HSE University) With a background in physics and art, Kate Umnova is interested in combining logical structures with holistic observations. She seeks new approaches to art exhibiting and environment perception through the means of collaborative action, new media, and digital interfaces. Exhibitions: What Time Are You? A walk in game time, a group exhibition of new media and game artists, HSE Art Gallery, 2020 New Japan. The Observer Effect, a group exhibition of Japanese new media artists, Solyanka State Gallery, 2018 Stelarc’s Postevolution: Hybridisation rather than typization, a documentary exhibition dedicated to the work of Australian artist Stelarc, Solyanka State Gallery, 2018 Meta Matter, a group exhibition of Dutch animation artists, Solyanka State Gallery, 2017.


Diana Artemeva (RU), Kate Umnova (RU), Irina Rusakova (RU)