Third World: The Bottom Dimension is a free-to-download, multi-level, single-player PC game commissioned and produced by Serpentine Arts Technologies. Conceptualised as a consciousness-raising tool, the game explores Black Brazilian experience as it intersects with the ramifications of colonialism across physical and digital realities.
“I asked myself how can I reveal, rather than replicate, this system of inequality for people who are not living this reality, so that they can really understand how it can suffocate – how it can change your behaviour, intentions and how you navigate and understand your own body, or how to understand that others also need the same amount of energy and care that you do.”
– Gabriel Massan
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Third World invites players into a fantastical and disorienting world populated with Massan’s digital sculptures, bespoke animation, films, and camerawork, accompanied by sound developed with their collaborators. The game uses world-building and collaborative storytelling to challenge colonialist concepts of ‘exploration’, ‘nature’ and ‘knowledge’ to encourage a different kind of wayfinding.
Developed in dialogue with the artist’s interests in decentralised knowledge exchange, fictional archaeology, ecology, and the critical role that collective memory plays in constructing futures, Third World is a platform for Massan’s collaborations with artists, technologists and thinkers.
Alongside artist Gabriel Massan’s digital sculptures, textures, and concept development, the game features artistic contributions by Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar, sound design by LYZZA, and work from Masako Hirano, Marchino Manga, Ralph McCoy, Carlos Minozzi, Iraj Montasham, Alexandre Pina, and Sweet Baby Inc.
Each level or “episode’ in the game is conceptualised by a featured artist who worked in collaboration with Massan to bring themes central to their practice into the lore of Third World. Playing as characters Funfun and Buburu – agents deployed to the ‘Third World’ by a resource extraction organisation, as you navigate these kaleidoscopic and disorienting realms, you encounter not only new lifeforms, languages, and ways of knowing, but also an increasing reckoning with your own actions. A worldbuilding platform in which a multitude of stories and perspectives converge, Third World invites you to raise your awareness of other ways of being through play, and to embrace the idea of ecosystem as a true ‘main character’.
Built on Tezos, Third World’s accompanying Web3 strategy will expand the game’s reach into online player communities by building an active and ongoing archive of gameplay.
Third World: The Bottom Dimension was originally commissioned as part of the ongoing Artist Worlds series.
About & Credits
Third World: The Bottom Dimension
Lead Artist, Creative Director, 3D Sculptor, Concept: Gabriel Massan
Featured Artists: Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar, LYZZA
Sound Design: LYZZA
Unreal Development: Alexandre Pina, Marchino Manga & Ralph McCoy
Capture Mode Development and Unreal Consultant: Iraj Montasham
Animation, Cinematography and Film VFX : Carlos Minozzi
Additional Cinematography: Alexandre Pina
Graphic and UI Design: Masako Hirano
UV Mapping Support: Christina Anagnostou
Writing and Narrative Design Support: Sweet Baby Inc
Translator: Adriana Francisco
Mastering Engineer: Rainy Miller
Curator: Tamar Clarke-Brown
Producer: Róisín McVeigh
Commissioned and Produced by Serpentine Arts Technologies
Powered by Tezos.
Arts Technologies, led by:
Tamar Clarke-Brown (Curator, Commissions)
Roisin McVeigh (Associate Producer)
Kay Watson (Head of Arts Technologies)
Alex Boyes (Producer, Arts Technologies), Eva Jaeger (Curator, Arts Technologies), Victoria Ivanova (Strategic Lead, Arts Technologies), Sarah Hamed (Assistant Exhibitions Curator)
Third World: The Bottom Dimension uses Unreal® Engine. Unreal® is a trademark or registered trademark of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. Unreal® Engine, Copyright 1998 – 2023 Epic Games, Inc. All rights reserved.
- About Artist Worlds
Artist Worlds is an ongoing series of commissions and live events that support artistic practices that engage with simulated realities, immersive story-telling and virtual world-building. The projects invite audiences into new artist-built virtual worlds to explore and discover their practices, processes and ideas, and contribute through collaboration and co-creation.
- Gabriel Massan
Gabriel Massan (b.1996 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist. Combining storytelling and worldbuilding, Massan creates worlds that simulate and narrate situations of inequality within the Latin American experience. Framed through a conceptual practice they call ‘fictional archaeology’, and working across 3D animation, digital sculpture, games, sound, and interactive installations, the artist challenges warped conceptions of the so-called ‘Third World’ while investigating possibilities for subversive otherness. Selected residencies and awards include the Arts Explora Program supported by Cité Internationale Des Arts (2023), Dazed 100 (2022), Circa x Dazed (2021), Instituto Moreira Salles (2020) and ETOPIA – Center for Art & Technology (2019). They have created significant commissions with Serpentine Arts Technologies (2022-3), Bangkok Biennale (2022), The Photographers’ Gallery (2022), and X Museum (2022). Massan has presented talks and conversations at institutions including La Biennale di Venezia, Art Basel Miami, DLD Conference, University College London, Royal College Of Arts and Institut Français. Recent exhibitions include: ‘WORLDBUILDING: Gaming and Art in the Digital Age” (Julia Stoschek Collection, 2022; Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2023); ‘Canon!’ (Frieze No.9 Cork Street, 2022) and ‘Possible Agreements’ (Mendes Wood DM, 2022). In June 2023, they launched the critically acclaimed multipart project ‘Third World: The Bottom Dimension’ at Serpentine, London, which includes a collaborative video game, multidisciplinary exhibition and web3 tokens.
- Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro
Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro (b. 1996, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil) is an AfroBantu visual artist, writer, and psychologist who has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and belongs to an AfroBantu family lineage. Her works include photography, video, dance, painting, and installation (temples). With her artistic and academic practice, Castiel is interested in studying the principle of Transmutation as an unavoidable destiny. For this, she dribbles, incorporates, and immerses herself in the Bantu ontology, embracing healing [cura] as a perishable moment of freedom. Currently, Castiel studies and builds interspecific spirituality and ancestry.
- Novíssimo Edgar
Novíssimo Edgar (b. 1993, Guarulhos, São Paulo, Brazil) is a ‘multi-artist’: —a rapper, poet and creator of upcycled masks and costumes., Novíssimo appeared in the Brazilian urban scene in 2018 with his debut album “Ultrassom“. As a compulsive creator, he has made books, drawings, performances, installations, games, and NFTs, producing work that speaks to freedom, as a speculative exercise committed to an urgent futurism, passing through various supports and segments of metalanguage and transmedia research.
LYZZA (b. 1999, Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a producer and vocalist who has always been keen on mocking boundaries. Carving a space for herself in Electronic Music since her 2017 EP ‘Powerplay,‘ LYZZA has since traversed the sonic world showing her artistic potency, with multiple collaborations ranging from Showstudio and Mugler to producing for billboard-nominated songstress Emel Mathlouthi. In recent years, LYZZA has been widely hailed as one of electronic music’s most promising young avant-pop producers.
- UI and Graphic Designer - Masako Hirano
Masako Hirano (b.1993, Japan) is a Japanese visual artist, art director and graphic designer living and working between London, Berlin, and Tokyo. Her unique style is rooted in her experiences growing up as a child in Thailand and her experience as a ‘third culture kid’ after moving back to Japan.
- Unreal Developer - Marcinho Manga
Marcinho Manga (b.1984, Brazil) is an Unreal developer, game designer, illustrator, and founder of Manga Games Studio. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design from Anhembi Morumbi University.
- Unreal Developer - Ralph Mccoy
Ralph Mccoy (b. 1987, Brazil) is an Unreal Developer, teacher and enthusiast of the digital universe who is passionate about developing worlds and creating stories. Always looking for interactivity and immersion, selected projects include 3D modelling work for the animated movie ‘GadgetGang in Outer Space’ (2013-2015), developing the game that birthed the celebrated music video for Prêmio Nobel’ together with multi-artist Novíssimo Edgar (2021), and developing the game ‘Iroko’ for the Festival Imersivo das Favelas with artist Gabriel Massan.
- Animation, Cinematography and Film VFX - Carlos Minozzi
Carlos Minozzi (b. 1990, Brazil) is a technical artist and cinema graduate based in Berlin, who works with procedural tools, simulations, animations, and real-time renders. Minozzi has been part of VR exhibitions, produces content for big-screen festivals and is interested in new technologies that push the boundaries of 3D art.
- Unreal Producer and Cinematography - Alexandre Pina
Alexandre Pina (b. 1990, Brazil) is an artist and developer who is curious about digital processes and virtual experiences, producing work at the intersection between film, 3D animation and interactive projects. Selected highlights include participation in the research group on Photographic Technologies at Parque Lage Art School (2019); producing his film VIDEORETRATOS (2020), producing and directing the game that birthed the celebrated music video for ‘Prêmio Nobel ’ together with the multi-artist Novíssimo Edgar (2021), and being awarded one of the first digital artist residencies at Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro (2022).
- Capture Mode Developer and Unreal Consultant - Iraj Montasham
Iraj Mohtasham (b. 1999, Iran) is an unreal engine developer. He is mostly focused on creating plugins for unreal engine, most of which are open source.