Italian-born Matteo Bittanti may not classify himself as an “artist;” more as a professional procrastinator, however, his works show otherwise.
A lot of what he does in his current town of San Francisco, CA is acting as a curator. He finds artists who have works inspired by video games as well as various other forms of digital media and brings them all together in a gallery installation.
Bittanti truly makes a living on what he loves and finds interesting; he successfully combines obsessions with things he likes such as video games, and uses them to make a comment on society, not just for pure entertainment value. He even considers video games “the ultimate form of art,” because they combine a variety of art forms such as video games, sound, as well as interaction.
As far as his own work that truly makes him an artist, there is one in particular that stands out. Bittanti composed a video of himself playing a parkour video game, making himself in the view of the “runner” in the game. His reason for this is to be able to replay what was probably one of the most horrible things that has happened in his life. The character he was simulating in the video demonstration was that of one of his best friends, Bruno who essentially stood at the top of a building for about four minutes before leaping to his death. Bittanti also used music by Bruno himself as background sound in the video demonstration. Everything about this makes it such a strong and compelling piece that is simultaneously heart-wrenching. It’s amazing to see the power a simple video game segment can hold.
The idea of replaying the incident was certainly a strong message to convey in a video game setting; and it certainly made an comment on the impact the art form can have. He was very brave to re-live the event and form it into something that most would not consider making into such a strong statement.
Another project he put together was a direct comment to the idea of President Obama’s campaign advertisements inside actual video games on billboards and such. What Matteo decided to do was make a parody of the bold act and proceeded to place these “Obamads” into more unlikely games such as Grand Theft Auto as a bumper sticker on a car.
The works that Bittanti has produced, I feel, successfully impact the viewers’ outlook on certain issues that he brings up in the video game setting.