Inside Inside, autoimmune futures


Inside Inside by Douglas Edric Stanley is an interactive installation for one player and multiple viewers. Two screens and a controller invite you to play Inside this famous Playdead video game. The story is set in a dystopian future where an oligarchy of a select few rule the minds of multitudes of humans who are reduced to unconscious slavery. As the player progresses in the game, the system analyses the images of his settings and matches them with other scenarios that appear on the second screen: a neural network has been trained to intercept similar scenarios from a database of historical dystopian movies such as Metropolis, AI, ET, Blade Runner etc. By lingering and advancing through the puzzles of Inside, players instigate a parallel montage with a surprisingly similar aesthetic point of view. And yet, each time, the recontextualised narrative is different from all previous stories, and its timing, sequences and duration depend on the disposition and pace of gameplay. Eventually the player might lose any sense of causality: which of the two sequences generates the other? Is it the yearning to solve the game that drives the system or, rather, a curiosity to discover what scenarios can be generated in the accompanying film sequences by moving randomly in unexplored or dangerous spaces? There is bewilderment, for sure. As if it were an autoimmune process, each change in the video game organism generates a new, dystopian tableaux.




© Douglas Edric Stanley, © Douglas Edric Stanley,