Jessica Renfro

I create immersive participatory experiences using original music, narration, visual images and digital interactive techniques. My work explores the concept of the collective and what emerges when participants

co-author new mythologies from a disidentified state. These social simulations use game engines (like Godot) and web platforms (like Django and Heroku) to explore alternative ways of being and being together. 

The simulations I build are playful, brightly colored, and surreal; often evoking the aesthetics of early 90’s video games. The ‘win-state’ is designed to be a sense of collective accomplishment, embellished by the awkwardness, difficulty, and sometimes even silliness of achieving this. 

 

My work is motivated by the need to collaborate across cultural divides and disciplines in the pursuit of climate protections/solutions. I work collaboratively with programmers, using values-based design and iterative game design models to create conditions like creativity, access, cooperation, and resilience in collective tasks. My pieces are shared experiences from which larger conversations can be had. They are ideal for community events, conferences, schools, and libraries, and require no prior knowledge of art or gaming.

I hold a Master of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma in Opera Performance from the Peabody Conservatory. In 2021, I also received an M.A. in Performance Practices from ArtEZ University in The Netherlands. My research into participatory art is published in the APRIA journal (2020), the Politics of the Machines conference (2021), and the 13th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research (2022)

IMG_4256.jpeg