Joshua Taylor, The Dune Sea from Star Wars: The Old Republic, 2011
Joshua Taylor, Derelict from Star Wars: The Old Republic, 2011
Joshua Taylor, Rock from RAGE, 2011
Joshua Taylor, Rock from Mirror's Edge, 2011
Joshua Taylor, Shadows from Mirror's Edge, 2011
Joshua Taylor, City Streets from Mirror's Edge, 2011
Joshua Taylor, Patterns from Mirror's Edge, 2011
Joshua Taylor, Kola Kong from RAGE, 2011
"Joshua Taylor, a self-described coffee roaster currently living in Richmond, Virginia, is a maestro of in-game photography aka "screenshot-ing", a practice that has found its paradigm in DeadEndThrills. His aptly titled tumblr "//Not Real Life" erases all possible doubts about the artistic significance of videogame screenshots. "Screenshot-ing" or "screengrabbing" is an umbrella term that defines a variety of in-game photography performances whose common denominator is the collection of visual mementos by the player. Rather than using a virtual gun to destroy the environments she or he encounters, the gamer becomes a collector, an avatar-with-a-photo-camera, a flaneur of virtual spaces. The collected pictures are subsequently enhanced with the aid of Photoshop and similar tools and shared online, via flickr or tumblr.
Several gamers use game editors as their canvases, often with hysterical results. Some grabbers are fascinated by glitches. Robert Overweg (b. 1983) elevated glitches to an artform. Overweg, a Dutch designer and artist, has been working as a virtual photographer in online worlds of first and third-person shooter games since 2007. Overweg investigates the relationship between game environments and the so-called "real life". In a recent interview with GameScenes' Mathias Jansson said "To me the virtual world is a direct extension of our physical world. The worlds I photograph in are a representation or copy of our own physical world so I see no reason in calling photography in the virtual world any different than photography in the physical world. There are of course differences between the two worlds there are for an example no camera settings like shutter time in the virtual world. On the other hand in the virtual world you can float through walls have a night and day cycle in 20 minutes and more."
Artists like Kent Sheely and Marco Cadioli investigate the dichotomy - or, rather, continuum - between visual representations of historical events, e.g. World War II as seen through the lenses of Robert Capa, and their videogame counterparts. "I was intrigued by the work of real photojournalists from the World War II era, especially Capa, whose most famous photographs of the Normandy invasion were infamously blurred and surreal (due to a lab technician's mistake) - Sheely told GameScenes - I liked this aesthetic because of its natural tendency to distort and abstract reality, the figures emerging from the background like ghosts. In "World War II Redux", by deconstructing well-known historical photographs and reenacting them within the confines of the video game technology, my intent was to highlight the loss of meaning that occurs between real historic events and the interpretations of those events we experience through simulation. Despite best efforts to recreate the same imagery and tone from the original, the facsimile always falls short of the mark, but at the same time causes the viewer to see the original with more attention to detail."
Joshua Taylor documents the solemnity and emptiness of videogame spaces, both in urban and "natural" contexts - Mirror's Edge and Star Wars: The Old Republic are among his favorite subjects. Each picture is accompanied by a caption that summarizes the mood of the depicted situation. For example, a beautiful black and white shot of a IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover is titled "Desperation". "Sunrays" plays with lights and shadow within the brutal world of Rage. As I look at these these images, I am reminded, once again, that videogame memories are as real and relevant to our personal histories as the "real" ones. Joshua Taylor's remarkable photographic work is archived on flickr." (Matteo Bittanti, WIRED)