Artifacts II

Student Entrant 2019

University of California Los Angeles


Jacaranda (a meta-concept within the game Artifacts) is a broken-memory-space that intersects overlaying the island of Artifacts (like a transparent color card laying over another that reveals a new wavelength).

It is a digital-fantasy/folklore based on a true story about adapting to and developing in an environment of emotional abuse and isolation, and in particular, how computers and the internet provided a way to develop identity and personal boundaries through many times questionable means. The main character is a child who raised themselves through a trial and error unique to the digital age, the computer however makes for a very dysfunctional parent and playground for a child.

The influences of the story are set in approximately 1998-2005 but the timescales jump and blend because it represents the imperfect process of memory. Artifacts interactions are based on the explorations of a digital age child and the power structures and construction of platforms of the internet of the early 00's, which is analogized as a bio system. It is from the view of a naive and young consumer, as well as the adult looking back on the pros (creativity, writing, expression, social connection) and cons (unchecked predatory advertising, data scraping, contact with dangerous adults, replacing human contact) of being raised by the internet.

Jacaranda has two locations, the dollhouse- which is a death-drive inspired "reliving the trauma" in a dark and unsettling yet playful setting. The other location is Artifacts, an off-kilter dreamscape about the 00's internet and its ecosystem.