American, born Mexico, 1974
Today, interactive media has become ubiquitous in a world made increasingly small by technology. Brody Condon is part of a group of artists who take inspiration from and transform their adolescent memories of these technological advancements. To create DeRez FX.Kill (KarmaPhysics<Elvis), Condon modified a version of Unreal, a series of first-person computer games released between 1998 and 2007. Condon isolated the programming in the game’s original real-time physics system—called Karma, it controls what happens to a character when they are killed—and immerses the viewer in an endless abyss of pink fog filled with countless flailing Elvis Presley bodies. Here, “The King of Rock and Roll” lives on forever as the figures float aimlessly in space. In this work, Condon has commented that he misuses the Karma system as a “new representation of death via code, not just the visual surface of trauma but the physical dynamics of the falling figure.” While the premise of the work may seem dark, Condon’s subversive sense of humor shines through. Death is a grave matter in real life, but in the world of gaming, it is more of an inconvenience: video game characters lose their lives every day, only to start all over again.