An Interval Among Death and Dream is an experimental glitch machinima that explores altered states of consciousness through aesthetics of error. Employing sensual expressions of datamoshing, An Interval Among Death and Dream evokes a haunting journey through the Bardo in traditions of Tibetan Buddhism: an existential state that lies between death and rebirth, consciousness and unconsciousness, spiritual transcendence and hallucination, ego and its dissipation. Here, footage of pristine landscapes has been captured from gameplay in Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar, 2018) and corrupted to produce a continuously unfolding glitch sequence in which mountain ranges and meadowlands implode upon each other in violent abstractions. The material strangeness of glitch reinforces this spiritual wandering into the unknown. Glitch techniques often play with continual cycles of data’s destruction and generativity, between a gestalt image and abstract forms that underlie familiar interfaces. Similarly, the Bardo as a liminal state among the corporeal and metaphysical negotiates among reality and intermediate realms of being. Through bliss and apprehension, An Interval Among Death and Dream considers glitch aesthetics as a form of spiritual abstraction, one that elicits technically mediated altered states through the perpetual corruption and generation of data to produce the novel and unexpected.
Eddie Lohmeyer is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida. His research explores aesthetic and technical developments within histories of digital media, with an emphasis on video games and their relationship to the avant-garde. His book Unstable Aesthetics: Game Engines and the Strangeness of Modding was recently published under Bloosmbury Press. Additionally, his art explores processes of play and defamiliarization that unveil normal attitudes and perceptions of technologies. Using deconstructive approaches such as glitch, physical modifications to hardware, and assemblage, his installations, sculpture, and video have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at 1308 Gallery at the University of Wisconsin, Ground Level Platform (Chicago, IL), the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg, Russia and the 2021 Milan Machinima Festival.