Under[w]he(a)re” (2020) by Luca Miranda is the third video presented within the program FILTRO, the third edition of DIGITAL VIDEO WALL curated by Gemma Fantacci. The program is an artistic exploration of the outcomes of the researches of five international artists, whose practice is centered on the possibilities offered by digital technologies. FILTRO is conceived in its twofold meaning of device that allows the implementation of modifications, real or virtual, and of lens through which we experience an altered version of reality.

“Under[w]he(a)re” (digital video, 2020) was created within the video game Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014), an open world set during the French Revolution. Luca Miranda’s avatar sneaks under the skirt of about 100 bridesmaids, exhibited virtually and rhetorically, discovering the same taste in dressing. In a context of cultural, social and economic differences, the appeal of monopoly capitalism is still alive.

The artist documents his movement in the virtual dimension through photography and video: the different items of underwear of the female characters, which almost seem to be part of an advertisement, represent a society virtually real and are able to highlight an anthropological potential of everyday reality. NPCs have the quality of being subject to capitalist dynamics, which are subject to the choices of game designers and therefore to the dominant dynamics inside society. The various terms and themes that “Under[w]he(a)re” takes into analysis fall into a broken and assembled ways, this is also visible in the title itself, which wants to mix and superimpose different references to objects, places and temporal dimensions, messing up the plane of the real and virtual.

Miranda’s research is focused on the relationship between reality and simulation and consequently on historical and political rhetoric: the area of interest is video games intended as a critical tool to highlight the internal contradictions and paradoxes of contemporary media culture. “Under[w]he(a)re fits into the artist’s practice who, working with machinima and in-game photography, pushes himself towards an experimentation of the traditional video techniques. The game mechanics, the immersion in a virtual reality and the identification with the agents of this new dimension are the areas and concepts that Miranda explores, thus reducing the distance between the two realities and highlighting the increasingly interpenetrating similarity between the two.


© Luca Miranda, Under[w]he(a)re, Still, 2020