Alan Butler. Down and Out in Los Santos
Down and Out in Los Santos is a project that explores the possibilities of autonomous artistic activity within the realm of corporate video game worlds. Since 2015, Irish artist Alan Butler has been using an in-game smartphone camera feature within Grand Theft Auto 5, to photograph the lives of the homeless in the virtual city of Los Santos. These primitive AI subjects perform no significant role in the narrative in the game, acting instead as the detritus that make up the video game’s ambient reality. The series attempts to explore, with empathy, the lives of marginalized people and how our own economic hegemony is represented through corporate entertainment. Existing only online, until now, a massive component of this series has involved using virtual photography to explore the contemporary ‘meta-life-cycle’ of the digital image. This exhibition for the Malmö Fotobiennal at Galleri CC, will be the premiere outing of Down and Out in Los Santos, off-line and in our reality. The exhibition will explore new frontiers in street photography through print, video and installation.
Alan Butler received his MFA from LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore (2009). His work often conceptually reflects and refracts the inner-workings of the internet, the implications of new media technology, and the politics of appropriation. Recent activities include solo exhibitions We Were Promised Anarchy, But What We Got Was Chaos, Solstice Art Centre, Ireland (2015); Youth Outreach In N. Korea, Supermarket , Stockholm, Sweden (2015); The Parallax View, Ormston House, Limerick, Ireland (2014); and group exhibitions Scissors Cuts Paper Wraps Stone, CCA (2016) Derry/Londonderry; FUTURES: Anthology 2, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Telling Lies, RUA RED, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Please return, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2015), among others.