This (un)game is an occasion to reflect on inner freedom, and how the comfort and convenience of living and working conditions for artists play a part in that. Many of us don’t have a studio, but many of us don’t need one. An artist’s work cannot live in an isolated world without becoming part of a discussion, a commentary or reaction to the reality of the outside. In a survey about the ideal studio, artists often list soundproofing, security, autonomy of the room among the things they want. All of these have the rooms we fear.

The 6 rooms in the game constitute a level through which the user can move freely, reading the belonging of these rooms and based on the characteristics of the architecture and furniture. There are no colors or applied textures in this game.

The size of the spaces themselves has a surreal effect: as the level is passed, the rooms around the user first seem too cramped, and then become much larger than in reality (or the user himself shrinks like Alice in Wonderland).

The project was based on an anonymous survey among artists from different countries that focused on the phenomenon of the artist’s studio or artist studio as an (un)desirable space and fantasies about what such a place could be like and why it is needed. Survey participants listed the features and technical equipment of an imaginary ideal studio, and also talked about what popular expressions other members of the art community used to describe their work.
One of the songs on the soundtrack includes a remake of a track that was written in the affect of another political repression in Russia in 2021. We made the words in this song indistinguishable for security reasons.

Text provided by the author
The soundtrack of the project was co-written by: Anna Rotayenko and Mark Voprosov

“Balance Cage” Anna Rotaenko