Thorne Brandt
Chicago, IL


Artist's Statement

Art is the celebration of free will. The presence of aesthetics is itself an argument against determinism.  The subjective awareness of time passing would not exist in a determined universe.  A pre-determined universe would be taken in as a whole. It would be perceived as a shape, not an environment in which one could be immersed, as you are now. The fourth dimension allows for ontological actuality; the experience of music, seasons, growth, pleasure and pain, work and play, learning and forgetting, creating and destroying. These all derive from uncertainty, or the subjective perception of time. This is interactivity. We live in a paradigm that adopts a stern separation between two interactive experiences: Games and Life. Games and play are harshly
degraded by their popular definition, associated with triviality. "This is not a game", is an accustomed scolding response to child-like behavior. The main reason for this dismissive attitude is the idea that one is free to leave a game, or start over. In contrast, one can not freely enter or exit the defined laws of life; (or at least, one is not aware of being able to do so.) I am interested in games because I believe that they are more significant than their conventional definition.  I define games as "An interactive, uncertain experience, framed by rules."  Essentially, the experience of living, being immersed by the rules of this universe, is possibly the same as being immersed inside of a game. The rules are cryptic, contradictory, unforgiving, terrifying, and beautiful. Eventually we will all stop playing. Perhaps we start a new one. I believe that when we create or play a game, we are intimately manifesting the parallel of a "little universe." My work involves the study of games and an attempt to forge a new definition of games and play that demands more respect.  I do this by creating  systems of rules for myself and for others. I consider the conception, formation and execution of games to be an art form, and a frontier to be explored.

Pizza Dog

Artist Statement

There are no personal artist statements. The artist is not a god. The artist is not a creator. The artist is only a vessel. The artist is a vessel for the village around him. The village struggles to understand itself, and this dialogue is what is important.  The ego and the identity of a single artist mean as much as a name given to a dog. It is only important that work is being done, and that games are being played. Work and play are the same thing. Play need not be associated with triviality. Laughter is the sound of your consciousness evolving. My work always involves eliminating classifications that do not need to exist between separated concepts/disciplines. For example: Games are art, and work is play. But I can't do this alone. My work is an invitation.

Cultural Need for Art Games:
Thorne Brandt

Technology is emerging that will mutate our conception of the individuality of the "Artist" as well as the "Art World" as a whole. This mutation is occurring because of accessibility.   A few years ago, it was impressive for an artist to have a website. Today, every thirteen-year-old has a personalized online empire. Garage-Band allows anyone to produce pop tracks (for free), and Myspace allows anyone to distribute these tracks (for free). Cell phones can edit videos and upload them directly onto Youtube. These videos can automatically be mailed to millions of subscribers. New Media Art is becoming increasingly user-friendly. This is a paradigm shift, and it is not necessarily good or bad. It is great that more art is being produced, from more voices than ever. It is great that more art is being consumed, by a massive heterogeneous audience. On the other hand, it might seem catastrophic for some video/music/web artists who rely on the pre-conceived notion of the Art-Market, veiled by a sky illuminated by Art-Stardom.  The sky is quickly filling up with white noise. Sure, it's brilliant, but how will this new market determine which individual artists are recognized, or rewarded?

I suggest games as one avenue.

Whether you admit it or not, there are unspoken rules and hidden competition that exists underneath all aspects of Art. Art-Poker unmasks these rules by replacing them with visible ones. The known rules act as a control variable, which can be ignored by the viewer after they are obeyed. In Art-Poker, the emphasis is placed on the  relationship between works. This ostensibly exposes the value systems of the individual artists more prominently than their own work, standing alone.

Art Poker Fundamentals:

A judge(s) is decided at the beginning of a round. This game rests on the subjective value system of the judge(s).   Players/Artists are asked to create work in a limited amount of time.   Players are presented with random yet discrete limitations to what they are allowed to create.  The limitations become more specific over time. Players that do not meet these obstructions are disqualified. The completed artwork is presented and players are free to critique each other's work publicly.  The judge(s) chooses which of the remaining work is the strongest, and the winner is rewarded with a prize, or any money that was wagered.

There are endless variations of this process - video, drawing, performance, etc...

Artist’s Links

artist’s website:    

gallery links: