Locust Projects presents Herramientas (Levels & Bosses), a transmedia gaming prototype by Miami-based multimedia artist Leo Castañeda with Otro Inventario. The immersive installation at Locust Projects invites visitors to play the videogame's prologue, premiered in an environment that echoes the development of game itself and traces the evolution of the game through oil paintings by the artist, virtual reality experiences, sculptural gaming furniture, immersive video, wall drawings, and more.
The Herramientas exhibition at Locust Projects represents the next stage in the multi-year Levels & Bosses game development project originated by Castañeda, and serves as the launch of a new fine-art video game studio, Otro Inventario, the first of its kind in Miami.
Castañeda, and the team at Otro Inventario have developed in Levels & Bosses, a groundbreaking video game that upends traditional archetypes of game “bosses/adversaries” while players explore nonlinear, science-fiction-inspired levels with a broad range of interdependent abilities, such as camouflage, vibrational touch terraforming, and laser communication. To those that know and understand gaming and game terminology, this expands the lineage of independent games revolutionizing the industry.
Leo's proposal was selected from our anual Open Call for the Main Gallery by a panel of past exhibiting artists including Shikeith, Juana Valdes, and Aldeide Delgado, the founder and director of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) coordinated by Locust Projects' Co-founding artist, Elizabeth Withstandley.
Levels & Bosses is made possible, in part, with support from Oolite Arts’ Ellies Creator Awards in 2018 and 2021; Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute’s Praxis Projects in 2022; The Harpo Foundation in 2021; and a Locust Projects Wavemaker Grant in 2018. The artist and Otro Inventario wish to thank ICA Miami, MUD Foundation, and Studio Shell for their support of Herramientas (Levels & Bosses).
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Leo Castañeda (b. Cali, Colombia 1988) is an artist and game designer living in Miami, FL. Melding gaming, painting, virtual reality, drawing, and sculptural furniture, Castañeda's work renders surreal posthuman anatomies and social structures. For over ten years Castañeda has been developing the Levels & Bosses series using Unreal Engine to create transmedia worlds that dissolve the boundary between analog and digital. Today, Levels & Bosses culminates in an episodic video game and installation series that investigate interaction design in gaming.
Castañeda received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2010 and MFA from Hunter College in 2014. Residencies include SOMA Mexico City; "Of Games III" at Khoj International Artists Association in New Delhi India (2015); Bronx Museum AIM Program (2017), and Oolite Arts Studio Residency (2018–2019).
To-date Castañeda’s work has been featured across Killscreen, Rhizome, El Nuevo Herald, El Pais, and Vice. Exhibitions and screenings span Hek Basel (2021), Museo la Tertulia (2020), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2017), Bass Museum (2020), Espacio Art Nexus (2017), Frost Art Museum (2012), Wolfsonian Museum (2019), Children’s Museum of Manhattan (2019), IndieGrits Festival (2017), and more. He is a recipient of South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, Locust Projects Wavemaker Grant, and the Oolite Arts Ellies Creator Award.Castañeda is currently a professor of 3-D animation at Florida International University and New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Otro Inventario is an arthouse video game studio that uses principles of sustainability and interdependence to expand interaction and worldbuilding possibilities in video games and gaming communities. Otro Inventario is built by:
Leo Castañeda | Co-Founder, Game & Art Director
Lauren Monzón | Co-Founder, Game Designer, Lead Producer
Daniel Sabio (The Glad Scientist) | Lead Software Engineer
Jaime Soto Kure | Associate Programmer
Gwen Lofman | Original Programming
Victor Gamboa | Sound Designer
Trngs | Soundtrack
JD SWIFT - 12:21 and 25:36 courtesy of Psychic Liberation
Irene Rodriguez | Vocals in Sound Effects
Juli Castañeda/Feedock | Wearables
Eric Cloutier | Furniture Fabrication
Noah Garcia | Web Designer
Edny Jean-Joseph | Graphic Design Consultant
Brittany Ballinger | Graphic Design Consultant
Sabrina Linares | Production Technician
Milly Cohen | Production Technician
Reinier Gamboa | Mural Support
Advisors: Liliana Patiño. Levy Castañeda, Diego Berta (Magic Leap), Daniel Humberto Ocariz (Marcum LLP), Sage Crump (Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute)
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