Alexandra Konopleva & Chiara Muracciole

Untitled, 2021, 3D animation

ER: What is a game for you?

AK: For me a game is anything where you get to win and, if you don’t, the point of the game is lost.

CM: For me a game is not really about winning or losing; I think that the main quality of a game lies in the process of playing and I think that this exhibition is a perfect example of it.

ER: Is there a difference between playing cadavre exquis on paper and digitally?

CM: I think there’s quite a difference, as the main concept of the game focuses on our imagination; personally, I can only expand my imagination and visual ideas fully in a digital environment. Also, it somehow gives life to the characters we have created through the animation process, which would be impossible if we had to do it on paper. I think digital adds a new layer to the game; it is no longer just about your imagination and collaborative work with another person, but also a dialogue with contemporary technologies and AI.

AK: I agree that there is a difference, as playing on paper is a lot easier and accessible for almost anyone, while to play the game we are playing you really need to know how to use 3D software. And I agree with Chiara that animation added a new level to our artworks; they are not static objects, but rather living things. I like that the result looks very contemporary, even though we got the idea behind the game from the Surrealists. It’s also more fun and colourful this way, but I guess it takes a longer amount of time to create it.

ER: Do you think technology helps people expand their definition of game? 

AK: I would say yes and no. Of course, technology really helped us expand our imagination and go beyond the boundaries of how we can play and what can we play. Today we have many examples of video and computer games that created a lot of new genres, but on the other hand, the rules of playing remained similar. There is usually a character you need to adapt to, there are certain rules, there is always the same gaming environment that has existed for centuries, even though all games are different in their own ways.

CM: I agree, but I think that in general technology helped us see games from a different perspective. When I was a kid I would only hear words like “game” and “play” from people my age unless it was about sports; I think that today adults play even more than children, and this is mainly thanks to technology. The digital world in general has shifted us towards a very playful environment, where humans can do anything they want to, and this is exactly where I think the need for playing lies. People just want to get out of the physical world and adapt to new roles, which would be impossible without a specifically created environment. Paradoxically, I think that the digital experience of playing makes it more real.

ER: Do you think that playing cadavre exquis digitally reduces the feeling of creating an artwork as a team or vice versa? 

CM: I fully perceive it as teamwork; the result wouldn’t turn out the way it did if we weren’t working together. I think it felt even stronger than when you play the game on paper, because there were more steps that we had to take together to create a final piece. And I think that when this is done digitally it looks more like a collaborative work even visually, because if you look at the style of some of the parts we created you can’t really tell who did what unless you know us personally and can translate our imagination into a visual image.

AK: I like the fact that on paper you can see that several parts were made in different styles, but it still looks like a complete piece. But I must agree that it was teamwork from A to Z and I see it not as my personal artwork, but something I have created together with another artist. And it feels amazing because we did it through a very playful narrative and there was no competition between us, just a process of collaboration leading to a result that would have been impossible without us working together. 

Alexandra Konopleva lives and works in Florence, Italy. She is is an Istituto Marangoni Firenze Alumna. She graduated in Multimedia Arts in 2021.

Chiara Muracciole lives and works in Florence, Italy. She is an Istituto Marangoni Firenze Alumna. She graduated in Fashion Styling & Creative Direction in 2021. 

Curator: Elizaveta Reznikova lives and works in Florence, Italy. She is an Istituto Marangoni Firenze Alumna. She graduated in Arts Curating in 2021.

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