They Never had Ghosts for Idols
Umut made this short video game as the culmination of his MA in Fine Art studies. Combining his background in documentary film making with his exploration into gaming technologies, it uses autobiographical content (in the form of photogrammetry and personal story) to drive a narrative around identity and place. Umut describes it as "an ontological map to the self in an age of ever decreasing distance".
They said that the image shared with them,
Was that of an enormous tree.
That they were told to marvel at its age,
Its extraordinary proliferation of bifurcation.
Its life-giving properties.
But that the tree had no leaves and was blackened,
Like obsidian glass.
And that the world was reflected within its jagged surface,
And that they could not see even their own faces.
They were told that wherever it was they had been expecting,
That that expectation was part of movement.
But not movement itself.
And that by marvelling they had fallen between two sounds,
One that resembled a word and the other that of a grammar.
And that in that darkness they would find only the brightness of missing,
Because of this they had agreed amongst one another
Without a word being passed.
That they would turn their mouths inward and avert their gaze,
For words, to them, had become disintegrate,
And left no traces in the blackness of it all.
They had decided that fleeing was both movement and relinquishing,
And that they were lied to.
And that they were being control.
They said that the others had wanted this without them,
And that without them the others would find no way out.
They said that every face on them bared something resembling a smile,
But that they were never sure what lay outside of that oval edge,
And whether they were smiling because they were happy or smiling at happiness.
They wanted to say something but never found the words to place.
They wanted this all to stop somewhere but that place was, as far as they could tell, only as real as the words they never said.
And that as they were afraid to speak, so were they afraid to move.
They said the walls were filled with names,
And that these names they knew but did not want to place.
The others had told them that the names were truth.
Home was the only word they recognised.
They told of another they had seen in the oily mirage -
That whilst driving at speeds at night,
Had been overwhelmed by an urge to turn the wheel suddenly.
And screaming off the night road,
Had disappeared into the black.
That they did not know what had happened.
They spoke of the many meanings
The contrasting shift of meaning embedded in place
That this amorphous ‘shaping’ and dismantling would only still,
In the darkness of death.
But that even then,
Those that stared into it long enough,
Would somehow always find a faint light.
The words they left
Disappeared as softly as their ideas
Things of imagination, in flight and without trace,
Abandoned to a being of apposite
And that that being was an act undone
Trapped between the walls of a world dream
Footsteps echoing through the vector of a memory.