MIF21: We Dwell In Possibility – Virtual Factory

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Eleanor Davis

1 — 18 July 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

As MIF 2021 brings live performance back to the streets, venues and communities of Manchester, they are also unveiling the third online commission as part of Virtual Factory. This latest instalment of interactive virtual art is called We Dwell in Possibility and addresses queer identity through the calming activity of gardening.

playfully colourful and beautifully drawn visual creations

In this queer gardening simulation, designer Robert Yang has constructed a world shaped by intimacy and politics, in which, simulated AI ‘peeps’ (people) move around naked with ambiguios gender identities, interacting with the other ‘peeps’. They plant and cultivate ‘trees’ that periodically bare fruit. ‘Peeps’ then decide whether to eat the fruit and transform themselves or to destroy the fruit they’ve created. All of the action takes place within the playfully colourful and beautifully drawn visual creations of illustrator Eleanor Davis.

work that explores gay subcultures and nuances between queer spaces

Robert Yang is a videogame developer who often creates work that explores gay subcultures and nuances between queer spaces. In We Dwell in Possibility, Yang acts as an architect of crowds, inviting the player to question who is protected by the politics of videogame worlds. He uses crowd simulation software to allow players to create their own improvised landscapes. You can design it to be a welcoming and friendly space or living hell, either way you will be the maker of a society.

The game is free to play and can be accessed through the Virtual Factory website, you will be able to play once the festival has launched on the 1st July. We Dwell in Possibility is the third in the Virtual Factory series, where artists have been invited to respond to the future physical architecture of the Factory. It is the latest new world, anticipating the kind of work that will soon be created, produced and presented at The Factory.

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival.

1 — 18 July 2021 Entrance is free Visit now

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