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NPC: Non Playable Character / XIII Havana Biennial / Fanguito Open Studio

Pre Opening, April 15th, 2019

Vuk Cosic (Slovenia), Yucef Merhi (Venezuela), Christian Oyarzún Roa (Chile), Nina Coulson (UK), Hamilton Mestizo (Colombia), Filio Gálvez (Cuba), El Diletante Digital (Cuba), Rewell Altunaga (Cuba), Naivy Pérez (Cuba), Serones (Cuba) and Rodolfo Peraza (Cuba)

A new governability crisis has emerged, a side effect of what is now accepted as “social media warfare”. The thread titled “Are You an NPC?” started by an anonymous 4chan user on a video game message board (July 2016), unleashed a trolling campaign on social media Twitter platforms. As part of a fake maneuver, accompanied by slogans and a call to action, with misleading information regarding the midterm elections in the US, NPC (Non-Playable Character) spread out virally with over 1500 bots. The term “Non-Playable Character”, originally referred to a video game persona that is controlled by artificial intelligence or simple code, was given on Twitter to people who “autonomously follow group thinks and social trends”. In 2018 the meme was used for trolling all political adversaries that addressed its criteria, and the symbol established (in the hands of young gamers) the ideological battle within politics in the digital realm.

NPC: Non-Playable Character Open Studio explores how video game culture and the Internet have radically changed the politics, information and the field of art nowadays, especially in its production, distribution, and reception. The exhibition brings together a number of works with a variety of mediums—including paintings, drawings, site-specific actions, machinimas, video screenings, game VR and webVR-based projects— related to the broad effects of the game art industry and the Web on artistic practice and contemporary culture.

Topics explored in the exhibition include emergent digital communities and Internet as a platform for surveillance; ideological and political battles and resistance; the circulation and control of fake news and missed information; and a new perspective for virtual communities and subjectivities.

NPC features work of international artists: Vuk Cosic (Slovenia), Yucef Merhi (Venezuela), Christian Oyarzún Roa (Chile), Nina Coulson (UK), Hamilton Mestizo (Colombia), Filio Gálvez (Cuba), El Diletante Digital (Cuba), Rewell Altunaga (Cuba), Naivy Pérez (Cuba), Serones (Cuba) and Rodolfo Peraza (Cuba).

Curator: Lesly Fonseca Tundidor

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