Delve into danger

ART // Gamers feel the visceral effects of their virtual warfare in a performance sculpture redux.

In 2007/2008 Harmon created What it is Without the Hand That Wields It, an electronic mechanical sculpture that was connected to modified version of the first-person shooter video game Counterstrike. When gamers on the internet killed one another, the sculpture manifested the virtual kills physically by releasing small amounts of blood into a gallery, thereby bridging the two realities. Now 10 years later, Harmon stages WIIWTHTWI : X redux in collaboration with Evan Blackstone – a resurrected slipstream version of the work manifesting the gamer commentary in the form of an endurance performance and new electronics. This new version has escalated with time – however what, if anything, has changed?

WARNING: This event contained graphic content.


Dangerous Thinkers
“This is how we evolve in nature…constantly modding our surroundings and ourselves.”
Riley Harmon

Riley Harmon is a US artist working in the Netherlands and his creative activity originated growing up in community-oriented theatre. Central to his practice is a process of weaving truth, fiction and magical realism into works and narratives that offer an uncanny distorted mirror to our reality – which take shape in performances, films, objects, live experiences, installations and collaboration with other artists. His current artistic practice traverses the social psychology phenomenon of 'terror management theory'; or how symbolic actions both mediate against, yet also reinforce mortal terror. His projects and collaborations have been internationally written about in such publications as Rolling Stone, Wired, American Theatre Magazine and he has exhibited, performed, and screened works internationally – at such venues as the Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst (Montevideo), FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool, de Appel, EYE Film Museum, Schin Kunsthalle, among others – as well as self-made contexts.  

“This is how we evolve in nature…constantly modding our surroundings and ourselves.”