willem.com
share this on: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Share

Snake '97 High Scores

Game inspired art by Zena Van den Block

Apr. 18, 2022 -

Last week I received a very kind invitation from a Belgian artist, to attend her art exhibition in Antwerp. The work on display involved the Snake '97 game that I have created. Uttering to find the right words and thrilled with excitement, I happily accepted the invitation!

Snake 97: Retro phone game

Chances are you have heard or seen the game I have created: Snake 97. The dot-matrix graphics and monotone sounds enable millions of fans to get a dosis of nostalgia in retro phone gaming. While I created the game by accident, its impact hasn't stopped amazing me.

Snake '97 - your dosis of retro game nostalgia
Snake '97 - your dosis of retro game nostalgia

Zena Van den Block

Among the fans of the game is Zena Van den Block (1995), a Belgian artist who inspires by creating visual art in unexpected ways. Often through play and chance, she searches for translations of patterns that she discovers around recurring habits using images from popular culture. By creating context or by purposefully reversing it, her work makes your rethink the visuals you (think you) know.

Work from Zena Van den Block (source zenavandenblock.com)
Work from Zena Van den Block (source zenavandenblock.com)

For her work involving the Snake game, she meticulously collected her end game screens. She uses the final arrangement of the Snake, often in nearly impossible twists, as building blocks on her canvas.

Snake art works in SECONDroom Antwerp:
Snake art works in SECONDroom Antwerp: "High Scores" by Zena Van den Block

In addition to the dot-matrix lines on the canvas, the funky old school green glows in the dark. It took her months to find the right mix and to perfect her application technique. The "High Score" art pieces are finished with a plastic-like surface, perfectly completing the retro vibe of yesteryear's mobile phone displays.

The art works glow in the dark
The art works glow in the dark

SECONDRoom Antwerp

Named after the original exhibition room in the founder's apartment, SECONDroom organises exhibitions with a short-lived vernissage, giving expositions an intimite character. This setting allows you to connect with the artist and other spectators.

Meeting Zena Van den Block: the intimate character of SECONDroom offers plenty of room to connect
Meeting Zena Van den Block: the intimate character of SECONDroom offers plenty of room to connect

As the creator of Snake 97 I have seen the graphics of the game a bazillion times. Yet, experiencing the graphics as genuine art feels totally different. Humbled and uttering to find the right words I examined these works of art.

Game graphics elevated to genuine art works
Game graphics elevated to genuine art works
Amazing detail: green dot-matrix canvas, manual brush strokes and a glossy plastic like surface
Amazing detail: green dot-matrix canvas, manual brush strokes and a glossy plastic like surface

Conclusion

I can only think of one word to describe seeing Snake exhibited as art: WOW! People often ask me what the Snake game has earned me... Well, I find it hard to think of something more valuable than the privilege of meeting amazing people like Zena. Nokia's well-known slogan "Connecting People" seems ever more applicable to Snake. I am incredibly grateful!

Look ma: me standing next to Snake art! WOW!
Look ma: me standing next to Snake art! WOW!

Did you enjoy this post?

If you found this content useful,
consider showing your appreciation
by buying me a coffee ❤️😋:

Or help me by sharing this post with your friends:

Other stories

all CreatingGamePeopleWork