Paul Steen
Since 2010
Works in Hamburg Germany

I rarely stay with any one media for long, I am always searching for the right media to present what I want to say for the moment. This has taken me from painting to making unique boardgames, to making photography, building things, making computer games, standing on a stage singing, and sometimes back to painting again.

I want my works to have a surface that attracts the audience to delve deeper into different things that I have researched and want to show. There is often an element of comedy or play or gameplay on the surface of what I do, but there should always be possibilities of layers of serious interpretation beyond that.

Trying to learn more about the world I have come to develop an interest in boundaries of different kinds, especially social boundaries. Arbitrary boundaries between us and them, inner and outer boundaries of things like the state, and what it means for prejudice and violence. I have studied hierarchies and structures of power, and conflicts now and throughout history.

Games interest me as a medium because I grew up in the seventies and eighties when roleplaying games and the first commercial videogames came. I used to program small games of my own in Basic on a Spectrum 48k, and write rules for new roleplaying games and board games for my friends. That‘s how I relatively early became aware of the potential of games and rules to create defined situations or entire open worlds, and how making games is not just about mathematics, but a language of expression just like drawing, which I was learning at the same time.

Every game takes the form of the expectations and experiences of its creator, and can be used to present abstractions, satire, action, beauty, and everything else that art and litterature can.