Average Shoveler

by Carlo Zanni

Inspired by the graphic layout of Leisure Suit Larry I (1987), Average Shoveler is an online game challenging the boundaries between photo, paintings, game and short movie.

The location is the NYC's East Village. It is snowing, and you have to keep your way cleaned. Each flake of snow contains an image taken live from news/politics/sport/entertainment web channels, while people tell you top stories gathered from same sources. They want to convince you; they want you to think like them; they want your head to explode.

Your only alternative is to shovel pumping news from your head, saving your life from that daily soft bombing, from a news overload.. There is no way to win. Of course you are going to die, it is a matter of time...While your are experiencing a fictional environment, you are playing with feedback (text and images) coming from your real life, from the real world. This intern dichotomy is also represented in the aesthetics of the game with the contrast between the pixelated atmosphere and the realistic quality of the shoveled images "exploding" and disappearing over your head.

In some scenes (interiors) the game transforms itself: there is nothing to do. You are alone on a lawn with fires burning books, or you are swimming in an oil swimming pool. These scenes have been thought like paintings, something to contemplate.

Average Shoveler includes also two prestigious collaborations: Gabriel Yared, the famous composer who scored, among others, movies such as "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain" wrote a great music, while Siri Kuptamethee the designer behind the New York fashion label "Indigo People" has created a set of outfits for the main character of the videogame.

To experience Average Shoveler , Flash Player 7 has to be installed and it is strongly recommended to shut down any other application and to turn the speakers on.


Carlo Zanni (La Spezia, 1975) is an Italian born artist living between Milan and NY whose work is focused on the intersection of computation and representation. He paints landscapes and he programs portraits. In the past four years his work was shown worldwide in galleries and museums. Among others: P.S.1 Museum - NY, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) - Chicago, Chelsea Museum - NY, Bitforms gallery - NY, 3rd Biennale de Montreal - CCA Glasgow, Analix Forever Gallery - Geneva and Borusan Center for Culture and Arts - Istanbul.

During Artissima X he presented a sculpture-server called AltarBoy (Altarboy-Cyrille): a sculptural portrait and a "physical way" to sell Internet based works. Recently, invited by Christiane Paul and Zhang Ga, he shown the second Altarboy sculpture, Oriana, a networked portrait of Italian writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci. Carlo Zanni has been recipient of the "2004 Rhizome.org commission" for which he produced a net videogame challanging the boundaries between video, painting, net game and photo. His first (net) retrospective is scheduled for October 2005 at the ICA, Istitute of Contemporary Art in London.

More info: http://www.zanni.org

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