Dataset Diptych 01, 2018
Inkjet print on Museo portfolio rag mounted on Dibond
60¼ × 50¾ in. and 75½ × 50¾ in.
Courtesy of the artist and Green On Red Gallery, Dublin
Alan Butler uses the fictional world inside the Grand Theft Auto video game to make his socially-engaged images. In a series he calls Dataset Dyptich he uses his avatar cell phone camera to document the homeless population of Los Santos, the fictional city of Grand Theft Auto. Butler creates images which comment on the marginalization of those experiencing homelessness in the video game. Game developers included these characters in their fictional city to make it seem more authentic, yet they do not impact the primary narrative nor are they controlled by the players. Through his artwork Butler raises broader questions about society’s treatment of those experiencing homelessness in the real world. He pairs each portrait with a print of digital textures and colors that cover the 3D models of the characters, exposing the entire game as fiction though it attempts to mimic life.