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Describing the Systems of Life

Published onFeb 13, 2019
Describing the Systems of Life

Keynote Abstract

Games and interactive works have existed for decades but only recently have been viewed in an artistic context. I will describe the unique properties of this new medium which make such a shift inevitable. I will introduce my interactive works which are based around the ideas of nature simulation, perception and consciousness. I will describe the motivations for their creation and the systems at work within them. Beyond this I will offer a conception of art as a functional means of both modeling and interpreting the world, which is complementary but fundamentally different from the scientific view. Further, I will discuss the validity and necessity of subjective truth as it applies to art, and how meaning arises in its perceiver.


David OReilly (b. Ireland, 1985) is an artist working in design, film and video games currently based in Tokyo. Creator of the groundbreaking animated films ‘Please Say Something’ and ‘The External World’, his film work has won numerous awards and been the subject of several retrospectives internationally. He has served as writer for the TV shows Adventure Time & South Park, and created the fictional video games in Spike Jonze’s Academy Award winning film ‘Her’. In 2014 he released his first independent game ‘Mountain’ and followed up with ‘Everything’ in 2017. Everything won grand prizes at A MAZE & Ars Electronica and was featured as Game Of The Year by Wired, Polygon, AV Club, The New Yorker and others. Its trailer became the first ever interactive project to qualify for an Academy Award.

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