SUPER NARDO / FALSE PROFITS

Untitled, Art Fair SF / January 2019

Venturing into more creative possibilities in the integration of traditional art forms and new media, young Filipino contemporary artist Keb Cerda introduces his latest set of works as components of an augmented reality adventure game. Paintings turn into virtual playgrounds or battlefields where viewers can participate and perform actions through a mobile application developed especially for his works. Each piece represents a stage of a game, progressing and culminating as the player completes tasks and collects bounties. The ultimate reward comes in the form of a catalogue and a limited edition toy sculpture from the artist. These explorations aim to take the interactive platform to another level in his artistic practice, and interlink the manual production of images to the language of digital technology.

False Profits is a term that denotes unreal gains, which refer to the fictitious values circulating in the world of financial markets. At the same time, it sounds like “false prophets,” which also resonates with the false hopes cast on such system to improve economies and the lives of people. Together, these connotations aptly describe the game’s interpretation of the dynamics of the financial industry. Gold takes central role as a key determinant of values just like in the real financial industry, and players in the game assume the role of miners collecting ores, navigating dark mining caves, dangerous trading floors, and all the way to an evil central bank. The labyrinthine spaces are composite images crafted from various sources like a collage, and in them are obstacles and threats challenging the miners. The game’s title, Super Nardo, is a parody of the classic video game Super Mario, modified by a common Filipino nickname. The entire exhibition mocks the quest for gold which goes all the way back to the Age of Exploration, and how up to this day economies are pegged to the reserve of golds.

2-1 PILLAGE
/ 24″ x 24″

2-1 HOMETOWN
/ 60″ x 60″

2-1 HOPE
/ 24″ x 24″

2-2 PILGRIMAGE
/ 24″ x 24″

2-2 DEPTHS
/ 60″ x 60″

2-2 IMPERIUM
/ 24″ x 24″

2-3 TOWER
/ 24″ x 24″

2-3 RETRIBUTION
/ 60″ x 60″

2-3 RISE
/ 24″ x 24″

2-4 CITADEL
/ 24″ x 24″

2-4 CONTACT
/ 60″ x 60″

2-4 BOO-BOO
/ 24″ x 24″