Sin Sol / No Sun is an augmented reality game that allows users to experience the feelings a climate change event, in order to deeply consider how climate change disproportionately effects immigrants, trans people and disabled people. Players can find, see and hear a story told through poetry about living through climate change induced wildfires, from a trans latinx AI hologram, Aura. Set fifty years in the future, Aura tells the story of environmental collapse from the past, which is our present in 2018. Part environmental archiving project, the environments in the game include actual 3-D scans of present day forests from the Pacific Northwest. With the goal of multispecies survival and solidarity in mind, Aura’s dog, Roja, leads players on a journey to escape the wildfires and find oxygen capsules which contain poetry, telling more of the story as they progress through the game.
Game design, Writing and Direction by micha cárdenas
3-D modeling by Marcelo Viana Neto, Adrian Phillips and Kara Stone
Environments by Abraham Avnisan
Soundtrack by Wynne Greenwood and micha cárdenas
Character Design by Morgan Thomas
Produced by Dorothy Santos
Sin Sol was created by the Critical Realities Studio
Content Note: Sin Sol contains descriptions of sexual violence.
Current: Henry Art Gallery, “Between Bodies”, Oct 2018 – April 2019
Upcoming: Refiguring the Future, New York City, NY, February 2019
About the Sin Sol artist group
micha cárdenas, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Art & Design: Games + Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. cárdenas is writing a new algorithm for gender, race and technology. Her book in progress, Poetic Operations, proposes algorithmic analysis as a method for developing a trans of color poetics. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. Her artwork has been described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR” by the Spike art journal in Berlin. She is a first generation Colombian American. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been shown around the world at venues including the California Biennial, the Zero1 Biennial, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Transmediale in Berlin and the House of Electronic Arts Basel.
Abraham Avnisan is an experimental writer and new media artist whose work is situated at the intersection of image, text, and code. He creates mobile apps, new media installations and mixed reality performances that seek to subvert dominant narratives through embodied encounters with language, history, and philosophy. Abraham has exhibited his work at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Libraries at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Vild med ORD literary festival in Aarhus, Denmark, among others. He is a fulltime Artist-in-Residence at University of Washington Bothell and the recipient of a Digital Studies Fellowship through Rutgers University—Camden and a Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship through the Simpson Center for the Humanities. He holds an M.F.A in Poetry from Brooklyn College and an M.F.A. in Art and Technology Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Wynne Greenwood (b.1977) is a queer feminist artist working with video, performance, music, sculpture and installation. After studying video production and art history at Rutgers University, NJ, in the late ’90s, Greenwood moved back to her home state of Washington and began performing the art-band tracy + the plastics in 1999. For this project, Greenwood played the parts of all three band members, live as Tracy (singer) and in pre-recorded video images as Nikki and Cola (keyboards and drums). She toured the project extensively and in 2004 tracy + the plastics was invited to perform as part of the Whitney Biennial. In 2005, Greenwood was commissioned by The Kitchen to make an evening length work, ROOM, in collaboration with sculptor Fawn Krieger. Greenwood has also collaborated with K8 Hardy on the series New Report. In 2009, Greenwood was visiting faculty at Seattle University, teaching “Video, Performance and Identity.” Selected performances and exhibitions include Reena Spauldings Fine Art, NYC (2005), Whitney Biennial (2004), The Kitchen, NYC (2005), Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, LA (2006, 2008), Tate Modern (2007), On the Boards, Seattle (2009), d.i.y. art spaces and nightclubs (2001-present). Greenwood currently lives and works in Seattle, WA. She received her MFA from The Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College. Her work is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Marcelo Viana Neto is a multi-disciplinary artist working in game design, graphic design, 3D art, and critical pedagogy. His research focuses on applying modes of organization based on solidarity and mutual aid to design pedagogy and practice, with a focus on video game art and design. He was born in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil and has been a resident of California since 2002. Marcelo holds a BFA in Graphic Design with high distinction from the California College of the Arts and an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from UC Santa Cruz where he currently works a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Art and Design: Games and Playable Media program.
Adrian Phillips is a game designer, developer, and artist. “I create interactive experiences that tell compelling stories through emergent gameplay and systems oriented design. Rather than having a game tell a story, I want them to help players create and experience them through interactions within the world and between players. I obtained my Master’s of Fine Arts in Digital Arts and New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with an emphasis in Playable media, and completed my undergrad education at the University of California, San Diego with a major in Interdisciplinary Computing in the Arts and a minor in Computer Science. In my spare time, I play EVE online, defend the Alliance from the scourge of Azeroth, and lead hordes of daemons in Warhammer 40,000 tabletop.”
Morgan Thomas is a student residing in Seattle WA, currently studying at the University of Washington, Bothell. “I work at the University’s game studio, the Digital Future Lab, while studying in the school of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. I’m incredibly passionate about character design and concept work, and hope to bring change to the way diversity is handled in the game industry through my art! I’m a freelance artist, mainly working in 2D concept art and illustration. I have always had a love for fantasy and sci-fi genres, and have spent my years creating characters in said genres. I create characters of all races, ethnicities, sexualities, genders, and body types, and my passion is to create worlds and characters for people who are currently under represented – specifically in the video game industry.”