New Truths, or, Re-thinking the Virtual with Machinima: Videogames, Art, Documentary, Life, ...

ONLINE: A conversation with Dr. Jenna Ng (York) and Allan Dorr (Hamburg)


Livestream 08.05.2022 from 15:00 via


Machinima is the practice of creating films through real-time computer graphics engines. As such, it converges documentary (of gameplay), performance, art, animation, sitcom and filmmaking in game worlds and virtual realities as critical and creative spaces.

Today, machinima sits in a new mediascape. Game engines have evolved. The genres of games and virtual worlds have shifted. Actual and virtual realities entwine and combine in ever closer and more complex ways. In short, today's media discourse consists of deepfakes, post-truth, fake news, ceaseless simulacra, 24-hour streamed reality. Where truth is ambushed daily and the actual is questioned incessantly, and which heralds the metaverse.

In this profound flux, machinima emerges with fresh statements of how we might -- or even need to -- consider the condition of our virtual realities today. The old semantics of the truth and the fake between the actual and the virtual no longer hold. Instead, we need new art forms to give us new criticality; new definitions; new axes of understanding what we see, who we are, and the conditions of our being. We need new truths.

Dr Jenna Ng is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Film and Interactive Media at the University of York, UK. Her research focuses on digital media and digital visual culture. Her books include Understanding Machinima: Essays on Films in Virtual Worlds (Bloomsbury, 2013) and The Post-Screen Through Virtual Reality, Holograms and Light Projections: Where Screen Boundaries Lie (Amsterdam University Press, 2021). Dr Ng has lectured on machinima and digital visual culture around the world, including Shanghai, Milan, Bergen, Umea, Singapore, the United States and the UK. She is a juror for the Critics' Choice Award at the Milan Machinima Festival.

Allan Dorr, co-host of Rapid Rabbit Reloaded, is a computer programmer and artist based in Hamburg, Germany. He has created digital art pieces in the artist team <embed>, which were shown at the Kassel Dokfest: Monitoring and at Rapid Rabbit (2011). He has given lectures on digital storytelling at the Art Academy in Kassel, as well as at the EMAF in Osnabrück, the University of Weimar, the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and at the Institute of Design in Hamburg.

The talk, to be followed by Q&A, will be in English.