Subverting Expectations in Art and Immersive Gaming


A virtual post-mortem with Leo Castañeda on his recent exhibition with HeK

October 21, 2021

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The space between game-making and art practices shrinks every year as more artists integrate game software and mechanics into their practices. The result: a boom of new exhibitions that showcase artists using these tools and a growing public interested in seeing the integration of games and art.

Colombian-American artist Leo Casteñada is one such practitioner. In recent years, he has worked to create a set of work that reflects the language and rules of gaming in art. In this post-mortem review, the Miami-based creator goes over the development of his piece in Radical Gaming-Immersion Simulation Subversion, an upcoming exhibition at Basel’s HeK Museum Leo will also glance back at the process of developing games for the art world.

This is part of Killscreen’s Method programming (see below)



About Your Instructor

Leo Castañeda (b. Cali, Colombia 1988) is an artist and game designer living in Miami, FL. Fusing gaming, painting, virtual reality, drawing, and sculpture, Castañeda’s work reimagines the racial, socio-economic, and posthuman anatomies that govern mythologies and societal systems across our globalized world. For ten years Leo has been developing the “Levels and Bosses” series using the structures of gaming to create artworks and narrative through feedback loops of analog and digital. Interrogating modes of interaction and power structures, the work now culminates in an interactive video game and transmedia sci-fi experience.

Castañeda received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2010 and MFA from Hunter College in 2014. Residencies include SOMA Mexico City attended through the Cisneros Foundation (2014); “Of Games III” at Khoj International Artists Association in New Delhi India (2015); Bronx Museum AIM Program (2017), and Oolite Arts Studio Residency (2018–2019). He is a recipient of South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, Locust Project Wavemaker Grant, and Oolite Arts Ellies Creator Award.

Exhibitions and screenings span HeK Basel (2021), Bass Museum (2020), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2017), Espacio Art Nexus (2017), Frost Art Museum (2012), Wolfsonian Museum (2019), Children’s Museum of Manhattan (2019), IndieGrits Festival (2017)  and more. Castañeda’s work has been featured in Killscreen, Rhizome, El Nuevo Herald, El Pais, and Vice.



What to Expect

Killscreen divides its events into two categories Theory and Method. Theory courses are lectures, talks, and other one-to-many events. Method events are workshops, immersive, and other smaller hands-on programming.

Once you’re registered you can access this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Killscreen online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A link to the recording will be made available to all ticket holders roughly a week following the event. This link can be accessed by completing the post-event survey, which is emailed to all ticket-holders after the event.

Killscreen is an arts and culture organization committed to advancing the dialogue and practice of games and play. Founded in 2010, we seek to drive the intersection of games, play, and culture through cross-disciplinary collaboration to show the world why play matters. We want to break down the barriers that have traditionally segregated play and games from other creative disciplines and highlight creators with ambassadorial relationships to the world around us.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #KSonline for more incredible online experiences. And check out other material on, including honest and thought-provoking interviews with some of the best creators at the intersection of play and culture.