Sinziana Velicescu, AKA @casualtimetravel on Instagram, is a very good photographer. She takes photos of architecture, but without a lot of the architecture in it. In her words, it’s about “abstracting architectural details” and putting “shapes, form and composition before the actual subject”. Basically, in my very, very limited understanding of the craft, it’s sort of about doing architecture back to front.
For the longest time, I really struggled with this kind of art. The abstract is often too abstract, the thing I’m seeing too far away from the thing I’m supposed to be seeing when I look at it. Pictures of scabby, semi-obscured building tops and flaky garage doors can easily escape your understanding. You’re left looking for the meaning and the message and, most of the time, you won’t find one.
Over time though I’ve grown fond of that feeling, and even grown to love it. It might be an age thing – or rather, a maturity thing, which I’m sure much of my life has lacked. The more time you spend on Earth the more the usual messages are repeated, and the more the world becomes a little easier to read. Nowhere do I feel this as much as with games, surely because they’re the place where I spend the most time. Games, especially the big ones, in the traditional sense, are all sort of built the same. This is by necessity: big games are magic, great acrobatic feats held together by a million invisible wires. They have to be familiar, at least in some sense, because it’s catastrophic if they don’t sell. They have to be readable, and their message has to be easy to see, because it’s catastrophic if they’re misunderstood. They have to put the subject first, because that’s how they’re built. The subject is literally attached to a rig.