Yod Burrow and the Mix-up of Chaste City

The artist collective Dataspelsgruppen was a collaboration between Olof Broström, Carl-Erik Engqvist, John Huntington, Anders Johansson, Eskil Liepa, Ida Rödén, and Per-Arne Sträng. The group started through a common interest for computer games and virtual realities. The idea was to mutually research the creation of computer games as an art form, and to begin a collective process within the field of computergame production.

The game Yod Burrow and the mix-up of Chaste City, still in a production stage, was presented in connection to the traveling Game Art exhibition at Bildmuseet in Umeå/Sweden in 2007/08. On display  was sketches of what the game could become, what atmosphere we were looking for, and how the creative process worked. We dealt simultaneously with the starting- and endpoint of the game production – making posters for the release even though the production of the game just started.

Mathias Jansson wrote an article about Dataspelsgruppen for Konstperspektiv.


Yod is a curious being and a small person with far greater wits then her puny appearance. Yod is maybe a male, a female or neither, it’s hard to tell, and not very important. For the simplicity we will refer to her as a she. Yod is maybe too eager and straightforward some times, but it doesn’t bother her.

Yod is from Chaste City, a place without contours, with no corners or edges. Nothing collides in Chaste City. It is clean and white. Everyone is fine, or at least feels that way. Communication is long lost, it’s no longer necessary. Speaking is not forbidden as much as it is a bit of a failure. Yod is probably younger than most, but age doesn’t matter, only wisdom and intelligence. Chaste City is a bit of heaven, maybe a utopia. The world outside is not mentioned, and why should it? If things are good, why contaminate them? But something odd has come to Chaste City. A unit, a bit, or a molecule appeared, or existed in the core of the city. Not one of its citizens understands what it is. It took the shape of an egg, the most life-giving, perfect, and impenetrable there is. The problem is that this egg is something else, and inside of it; the Unit.

The whole city was soiled by the Unit. Speaking occurred an the harmony destroyed. When nobody understands, people have to question, which had been unnecessary for so long. The city came to life in a most unpleasant way. The wisest, purest, and most intelligent started talking. They understood that the Unit had to come from the periphery, from the end and the surface. Nobody understands what the end and the surface is about. But the Unit has to be returned if the City’s going to be saved.

Yod don’t know why, but she steps forward. Maybe it’s because she’s the one who understands the least, speaks the most, and is not frightened by the end and the surface. The wisest, purest and most intelligent can see that it’s a good choice. Yod is to travel upwards and outwards, that’s the only thing known about the mission. She makes a very small hole out of the white void, and squeezes her way through. A dark world of strange shapes greats her.

A world of information, imagery, texts and voices.
A world of absurdity and of humanity.
A world of the pretentious and of microcosms.
A world of mental garbage and unconsciousness.
If we are to simplify it, we could call it the Burrow.




  • March 24th, 2011