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Katherine Isbister, Rainey Straus, SimVeillance | by mediachef
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Katherine Isbister, Rainey Straus, SimVeillance

Katherine Isbister

Born 1969

Lives in Albany, New York

Rainey Straus

Born 1963, New York

Lives in Oakland, California

SimVeillance, 2006

Two flat-screen monitors and computers, computer server, webcam

Courtesy of the artists


SimVeillance uses the popular computer video game The Sims to present a simulation of the plaza outside the San Jose Museum of Art to make a visual comparison between the video-game version and the webcam surveillance of the plaza. Even the characters walking around the plaza are based on real people captured earlier on camera. SimVeillance is an example of using contemporary technology—the video game—to create art and capture the likeness of a place and people, as art has done for centuries. However, because the characters created in The Sims perform their own apparently autonomous actions, SimVeillance is less a representation of life and more like a parallel universe that continuously poses the question, “What would happen if…?”


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Taken on August 13, 2006