Bryan LeBeuf is a new media artist working with simulation, sound and game design. His recent work examines community through collective memory, using overlapping memories as a tool to rebuild, and reimagine his neighborhoods in Detroit, MI. The landscapes and design draw inspiration from the defined environments of early role-playing games and dating simulators, while weaving together imagery of post-industrialized neighborhoods. Bryan holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, upon graduation he was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship as well as attending the Mana Contemporary New Media Residency program. Currently, Bryan works as a designer and composer at the University of Chicago.
Within academia, hierarchies of knowledge determine which events, people, and spaces are deemed important and relevant. Thus, eligibility for historic relevance lies with the institutions rather than the communities they seek to preserve. There exist vibrant lives, objects, and places that offer meaningful knowledge and experiences—in the West Side and similar communities. However, due to an institutional definition of value, the ephemera of these neighborhoods are unarchivable. His previous projects seek to not only collect and record the knowledge and experiences specific to Detroit, but also create new archival tools and methods that are accessible to his community.
Game culture has been a great influence not only in his life but in the development of the values which shape his creative work. Though gameplay could be a solitary activity, for Bryan, it has always been a social one. In real-time, games allow people to share in an unfolding experience as they make collective decisions and world-build together. Bryan brings that ethos into what he makes as he designs experiences intended to be shared and in dialogue within his various communities.
Excavation and reconstruction of communal memories are major themes in his work with a focus on advocating for the subjectivity of those depicted. Build worlds constructed from fragmented memories, stitched together from my local community's analog and digital media. Through this combined process, I raise questions of agency—who gets to be archived and how? Who gets to examine a community and define the collective unconscious?
Hyperallergic - Travel the World From Home
Travel the World From Home With These Immersive, Accessible Video Games
Playing With Reality
The Frantic Desire for Almost Real - Exhibition
Chicago New Media Artists for Racial Justice
Hello Neighbor - What is your name?
Reminiscing/Reinventing Graduate Conference
Follow Danny Brown, DTCHPLNES, and 3D Skeletons into Detroit [Music Video]
Bryan LeBeuf in Detroit