14 Mar 24 — 13 Apr 24
Additional info: Thursday - Saturday
Venue: Seager Gallery, Distillery Tower 2 Mill Lane London, SE8 4HP
Character Creator is the second show in the four-part exhibition series Matchmaking at SEAGER, exploring how artists make work with and about video games.

The exhibition investigates the idea of the avatar, second selves and lives lived online. The exhibition reflects upon how artists use video games as a vehicle for speaking about representation in the digital space, escaping into virtual worlds and finding oneself through the act of play.

Each exhibition in the series is accompanied by a reading list of books that inspired the ideas behind the exhibition, as well as a number of books selected by the exhibiting artists that inform their practice, available to read within the gallery space.

With artworks from Bob Bicknell-Knight, Jamie Janković, Cassie McQuater, Petra Szemán, Willem Weismann and Stacia Yeapanis, curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight.

Bob Bicknell-Knight (b. 1996, Ipswich, UK) is a multidisciplinary artist and curator working with digital media producing films, paintings, sculptures and installations. His practice comes from a place of pessimism, exploring power structures that proliferate online and in new forms of technology. Bicknell-Knight runs the online curatorial platform isthisit?, and has previously curated exhibitions at The Art Station, Saxmundham, UK (2023); [Senne], Brussels, BE (2021); Harlesden High Street, London, UK (2019); Annka Kultys Gallery, London, UK (2018) and arebyte Gallery, London, UK (2018). Selected solo exhibitions include Sunday School at Number 1 Main Road, Berlin, DE (2023); Insert Coin at CABLE DEPOT, London, UK (2023); Non-Player Character at Klaipėda Exhibition Hall, Klaipėda, LT (2023); Digging History at INDUSTRA, Brno, CZ (2021); Eat The Rich at Galerie Sono, Paris, FR (2021); It's Always Day One at Office Impart, Berlin, DE (2021) and Bit Rot at Broadway Gallery, Letchworth, UK (2020).

Jamie Janković (they/them) is an artist filmmaker, poet and gigantic gay nerd who moonlights as a video game necromancer, their practice reanimating existing video game worlds and filming inside them to create spaces for new stories depicting the mixture of euphoria and toxicity that is the trans/queer gaming experience. In their work, Janković has investigated the ways in which men are socially conditioned to their cultural model by visual media and explored through found footage technique how mainstream U.S. horror and sci-fi genres police masculinity through narrative and representation. Their favourite video game character of all time is Fran from Final Fantasy XII, who they believe made them trans, based simply on their aesthetic and maximum level of slay. Good job Fran.

Cassie McQuater (B. 1987, USA) is a new media and video game artist living and working in Los Angeles. Her practice involves hours of surfing the net, mining for digital artifacts, and repurposing them as a way to reflect on and reinvent our relationship with interactive storytelling. Grounded in the practice of net art, investigating networked systems of digital power, her work often deals with themes of cyberfeminism while critiquing and seeking to subvert sexist tropes in video games and media. She received her BFA in painting from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in 2009, and she taught herself to code and started working in interactive media and video games in 2013. Recently, her work has been shown and featured as part of the Smithsonian American Art Arcade, with New Museum’s First Look: New Art Online and has won awards including the 2019 Independent Games Festival Nuovo Award, the Rhizome micro-grant for, and the 2019 Lumen Prize for Art and Technology.

Petra Szemán (b. 1994, Budapest, HU) is a moving image artist working with animation and game-like landscapes. Their practice focuses on the murky borderlands along the arbitrary line separating real and fictional, and the kind of lives and experiences that are possible there. Using a virtual version of themself as a protagonist journeying through animatic realms, they explore liminal spaces and threshold situations, looking to dissect the ways our memories and selves are constructed within a landscape oversaturated with fiction (both on- and off-screen). Turning away from thinking of the cyberspace as a radically ’other’ realm, Petra hopes to walk the line situated between dystopian and utopian frameworks, eyes set on new queer horizons. Szemán is a BA Fine Art graduate from Newcastle University (2013-2017), and has exhibited since at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, NTT InterCommunicationCentrein Tokyo, as well as various galleries across England, Continental Europe and East-Asia.

Willem Weismann (b. 1977, NL) studied at ArtEZ Institute for the Arts, Arnhem (NL) from 1997 to 2002 and Goldsmiths College, London (UK) from 2003 to 2004. Discovering what lies behind a facade, or beneath our feet beyond the smooth surface of the pavement, is a central motif in Weismann’s work. His works depict absurd urban environments; various rooms cluttered with debris of contemporary life and the excess of consumerism. Bathed in a beautiful light, these vibrant scenes in chromatic hues are at once eerily familiar and unsettling, confronting us with the direct aftermath of our existence. Weismann was awarded with the East London Painting Prize in 2015. He has had solo exhibitions at the Zabludowicz Collection, London (UK); Cabin Gallery, London (UK); The Nunnery gallery, London (UK); Galeria Quadrado Azul, Porto (PT); and Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem (NL). Recent group exhibitions include Summer Show, Turps Gallery, London (UK), Secret European Studio at ArthouSE1, London (UK) and De Meest Eigentijdse Schilderijen Tentoonstelling at the Dordrechts Museum (NL).

Stacia Yeapanis (b. 1977 Virginia, USA) is a Chicago-based, interdisciplinary artist, educator and writer. She explores the relationship between repetition, suffering and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix videos, temporary collages and improvised, sculptural installations. Stacia is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned her MFA in 2006. She was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence and a 2012-2013 Mentor-in-Residence at Chicago Artists’ Coalition’s BOLT Residency. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017), Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018) and Kent State, Stark (North Canton, Ohio 2019), Finlandia University (Hancock, Michigan 2020) and Material Exhibitions (Chicago 2022).