Once I was walking down the streets of Moscow, I suddenly realized that the false facades (fabric facades) of the city are really similar to the building textures in GTA San Andreas (GTA SA). That born the idea of creating the photozine. So I started taking shots of the streets of Moscow...and GTA. Later, I mixed both in every possible way I could think of: sometimes I changed facades with textures from GTA, sometimes I created textures from my pictures of false facades and modded them in the game ent. Thus creating the project “Home”.
For quite a few weeks I was riding around Moscow to find the false facades. I am sure that I’ve been all around the city center (most of the facades are there). 3-4 times a week I took a scooter and traveled around the city. Each shooting took me about 5 hours, summering into a 2-month journey. I’ve never had a specific route: there are no maps with false facades, and you will likely find more by chance instead of riding to a specific one. During the project, a building could change the facade a couple of times. While I took pictures of both, at some point I’ve noticed that I did not know any more streets I had had never been to. That was the last shooting day.
I did not have any criteria during the shooting. I remember having a visual reference for the works of Thomas Struth, but that’s about it. Struth kind of created the typology of the cities with his works. But regarding "Home" I was not interested in the conceptual side of his works. Just like with Bechers, I am fascinated with his photography aesthetically. These photos are clear, calm, and focused. That purity was something I was looking for with this project. To have it, I always brought a tripod and relied on the general photography tips: use long shutter speed, use the specific focal length ent. I’ve never had a specific post-shooting idea with each shot. As it turned out, that was unnecessary.
For the game itself, I chose GTA SA. Firstly, I knew the streets of the game well. Secondly, it has a rather big map, so I had a room for experiments. After choosing the game, I’ve started modding it.
For the ability to take pictures, I have found the mod Fly Camera by Chel555. It allowed me to have a “free” camera with a fixed focal length around 50 mm. To control the lighting, I used cheat-codes: one for the perfect sunny weather and another one for the dramatic speed-up of the day circle. Therefore, if I didn’t like the lighting at a specific time, I just had to wait a few seconds so that a few in-game hours would pass. But the most important change was the modification of the original building textures. For that, I used the program MEd. It recreates the parts of the map by textures so that a user can choose a specific building for the retexture process. Knowing the textures’ names, I changed them for my photos of false facades (for that I used a program called TXD Workshop).
To have more purity in in-game shots, I also removed pedestrians and traffic from game files. I also had to use a cheat-code for the unlimited ammo: sometimes there could be an annoying lamppost ruining the shot. I blew it up. In addition, because of the speeded-up day cycle, the avatar could die from starvation. So I also used cheats for the unlimited stats.
Each day after the shooting in Moscow, I came back and spent approximately 2 hours in the game. That was a very romantic process.
I also created two videos for the project. They demonstrate the modified game. There is also another for their creation, but I cannot explain it to myself.
Zine’s format: 192x265, 52 pages.