Kristina Karpysheva and Alexander Letsius explore their fever dream of a post-pandemic world within the virtual space of a video game.

For 404.zero, the task of creating installation work within the confines of lockdown posed, understandably, a particularly demanding challenge. Not to be deterred, Kristina Karpysheva and Alexander Letsius began mapping the various locations in which they stayed during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in order to create virtual spaces, galleries and apartment within which they could present their work.

We find ourselves in some of these spaces in In Search Of The Right World, a forthcoming game, built using the Unreal Engine, that 404.zero will present in the not so distant future. Describing the game as “a door to the world where time doesn’t exist”, the artists control a shadowy protagonist navigating macabre apartments, submerged industrial ruins and post-apocalyptic versions of some of their own installations.

In Search Of The Right World

“Our reality is largely determined by time”, they continue. “In our dream post-pandemic world we renounced this. We only need people who will enter this imaginary world and silently share their joy of being here today, because tomorrow everything can be different.” Using a familiar monochromatic design palette and atmospheric sound design, Kristina Karpysheva and Alexander Letsius explore a post-pandemic world.

Taking the presence of an audience within their installations to an extreme aesthetic conclusion, 404.zero use the formal structures of video game design to not only design a space within which their AV art can exist, but also the spectators engaging with their work. In this way the subjective participatory experience is translated into an intricately curated virtual fever dream.

In Search Of The Right World

The first full episode of In Search Of The Right World is coming soon. For more information about 404.zero and their work, you can follow them on Instagram.