public void Untitled () {}; (2019)

Title: In the Past Four Weeks (2019).

Author(s): Anthony Elliot Baker and Sophie Reid-Singer.

Place of Publication: “public void Untitled () {};” at Queensland College of Arts Southbank – Project Gallery (Brisbane).

Feature Format: Single-player videogame.


public void Untitled () {}; (2019) exhibited at Queensland College of Arts in the Project Gallery. The gallery has two main rooms which are sectioned by a wall, one is well lit and the other is not. We aimed to fill the space with a number of ‘pointless interactions’. While decidedly existential and anxiety-inducing, artworks in this exhibition harbored a light-hearted tone not found in previous solo works–most definitely the influence of Baker. Our audience were met open arrival with an instruction manual that gave simple commands like “donate” and “wiggle” to each peripheral (artwork).

Donate: The paticipant puts a donation into a large stainless-steel bowl to play Street Hustle (Anthony Elliot Baker & Sophie Reid-Singer 2019). Per payment, a user of Street Hustle is granted permission to carry a piece of the road from one screen at one side of the room to the other and damage the other screen however they like using the rock.

We made over $40 from the donation dish, except someone put a whole sandwich in there which made retrieving it unpleasant.

Wiggle: To play in the feature videogame, The Past Four Weeks (Anthony Elliot Baker & Sophie Reid-Singer 2019), the user moves the avatar, a perpetuating jagged line (a squiggle), through the 3D environment with two paperclips protruding from a rusty sculptural controller welded from steel. The ‘head’ of the controller was a cube, and the ‘legs’ were 4 poles that bent out at the base.

As a narrative, the player begins in the avatar’s apartment, in bed. Furniture in the bedroom is from an emergency room. Covering the largest wall in the apartment is a screen live-streaming the player in the gallery from a secret location. When the player leaves bed, they travel down some stairs with a toppled wheelchair at the base, and can’t return. The apartment contains a kitchen and bathroom. To use the bath, sink, and toilet (which features a single unflushed cube), the player pushes the avatar atop cinder blocks which act as DIY home-adjustments. The front door leads the remainder of the environmental, a maze of hospital waiting rooms.

The soundscape of The Past Four Weeks is a 3D environment the player navigates by traveling through the hospital space, which contains ten rooms. The environment was modeled in Blender, but the items populating the apartment were asset-flipped. Textures were created by passing a tile map that began as a grid of hospital tiles between myself and Baker until an image was suitably corrupted. Each room contains an audio loop aligning with a question from the Kessler Diagnosis Test (K10) a self-diagnosis checklist for anxiety and depression. The dual-axis control of the controller is tantamount to tuning an aerial on a old television.

There was no clear goal in this videogame, the player navigates from one waiting room to the next, stopping to view the televisions and chairs assembled in increasingly abstract arrangements. Two rooms feature 3D sculptures of waiting room elements assembled to resemble centipedes. The tenth room differs. This room shifts tonally to a warm orange ‘oven’ with a 3D audio visualization at the center of a winding ramp. Ascending this ramp was tricky with the controller, and if a player fell down, they fell into an empty render field, triggering a hypnotic visual effect. Indicating rebirth, this animation sent them to their starting position in bed.

I was the programmer of this videogame. The environment was modeled in Blender, but the items populating the apartment were asset-flipped. Textures were created by passing a tile map that began as a grid of hospital tiles between myself and Baker until an image was suitably corrupted. Videos that played on the televisions were datamoshed using the avidemux technique and included: public domain videos of 1960s war propaganda, Baker repeating recursive acts, and the development of the game world in the Unity Editor.

Below is a machinima I filmed of the avatar navigating their world-fiction.


In this exhibition, the avatar of The Past Four Weeks represented a cybernetic relationship between the player and the virtual space. Playing the role of cyborg in this videogame did not emancipate disabled peoples from the strict legal conditions imposed by the Australian Government.

However, in addition to new skills for 3D modelling and texture mapping, I learnt a lot about optimization and rendering. I learnt how to integrate a live video feed in this project using a webcam. This exhibition was well-received and many expressed solidarity with experiences of anxiety and depression irrespective of the hospital theme.

Side Notes

The divide between people with videogame literacy and those without was stark, as the former would undertake the task to learn how the avatar moved and the later would slam into a wall and give up. Many people feared touching the main controller due to an unfounded assumption it was going to electrocute them. If the visitor picked up an instruction manual when they entered they were more likely to interact with each peripheral.

Below is the instruction manual we provided, which I designed using text characters.

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