“Tribe - City” is a video work in which SMACK’s Tribe characters populate a grey landscape dominated by a central pillar. Developed as a generative work within a game engine, “Tribe - City” is built of individually programmed characters, which react to each other according to established parameters. Members of the crowd initially avoid each other, then opt to walk around and later worship the totem, before panicking and running away.
The pulsating center point and robot guards raise questions about the characters’ autonomy, while sudden changes of pace seem to reflect the unexpected and often explosive nature of group behavior.
SMACK is the award-winning trio of digital artists Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels, and Béla Zsigmond. Using computer animation, they build figurative video works and generative art exploring issues such as digital identity, surveillance culture, and mass behavior.