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Joscha Steffens – FILIA ATHENAE
Filia Athenae is a 3-channel video installation. The faces appearing on the screens belong to the most successful female E-gamers in the world. Whereas all other competitive e-sports only feature male teams the most brutal and pervert Ego-Shooter “Counter Strike : Globale Offensive” offers stages and money to young women. Their male avatars are either terrorists or members of a special unit so called counter-terrorists. In teams of 5 they line up and try to kill the opponent players to reach the goal of the game, either the performance or the prevention of a terrorist attack. In the media the name Counter Strike appears in the context of school shootings and killing sprees of lone assailants. The offenders often used Counter Strike to train for their acts of killing as you may create your own levels (maps) and plan your timing on the simulated scenario. I accompanied the international female players throughout their world championship tournaments and filmed them in the transcendental moments of mergence with their killing avatars moving over the maps again and again. The video installation juxtaposes the players’ faces as they are experiencing the very same situation of the game.
The sound of the work is based on hours of team’s in game communication that the players recorded for me throughout an entire tournament day. These several hours long recordings are collaged together in a 9:30 Min overload of voices.