Robby Rackleff – The Man In Blue

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Robby Rackleff as Blue Leader5

Robby Rackleff, also known, as Blue Leader is a Baltimore based performer and video artist. The character of Blue Leader is from Robby’s website, Do The Math Comics. “We are united by our belief in non-real worlds and an obsession with digital destiny” 1. This excerpt from one of Blue Leader’s speeches is a testament to Robby’s intense passion for video games. Robby, a native of Florida was first introduced to video games at the age of 12. Since then, he has graduated in 2009 from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Mount Royal School of Art with a MFA.

Throughout these years, Robby wrote comic books with the Blue Man as a character, one similar yet purposefully different from the X-men Cyclops. Comic books proved not to be the medium that Rackleff would ultimately work through. Robby began a one-man cast video series, Dark Fortress Occult Master of Space. While he was beginning to develop the series, Robby intended for each video to reference language specific to the world of video games. His video series was to become a “bible for video games”.2 Each video would present a genesis story of a video game. During his presentation in class, Robby pointed out that in an attempt to differentiate his work from other game art, he tries to create “pieces that do not criticize the video games”.3

While the series has not taken on that particular plot, his audience has been introduced to additional stories of Blue Leader. The videos have multiple avatars/profiles, which has contributed to the development of an engaging story line that does not fail to entertain audience. Within the videos (and other pieces), the elaborate backgrounds demonstrate Robby’s genuine appreciation of historical architecture, such as ruins and castles.

Image One of Robby’s pieces6

Robby also performs around the Baltimore area, dressed up as Blue Leader. As he delivers dramatic speeches, electronic music and mash-ups of video games are projected as a backdrop. His eccentric performances have been noted as one of the more intriguing acts of Wham City, “a group of independent artists [that] …collaborate [and]… make art shows, theater performances, music shows, festivals, etc” in Impose Magazine article.4

I’ve posted a video of Robby’s web series; please take the time to watch it. While you are watching the video, pay attention to the sounds. The sounds explicitly used intensify the viewing experience, placing us in the environment of the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foWiMl9WRGc&feature=related

Robby continues to perform and release videos for his web series on YouTube. His career, thus far is a testament to not only his strong emotional connection to video games, but also to the fact that video game graphics should definitely be considered a form of art.

 

 

1Jeremy Krinsley, “Wham City’s blue leader – Excerpt from Blue Leader’s speech”, accessed on Impose Magazine website, March 14, 2012, http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/wham-citys-blue-knight

2Class presentation with Robby Rackleff, February 22, 2012

3Class presentation with Robby Rackleff, February 22, 2012

4Wham City, “WHAT IS WHAM CITY??”, accessed on Wham City website, March 14, 2012, http://www.whamcity.com/

Jeremy Krinsley, “Wham City’s blue leader”, accessed on Impose Magazine website, March 14, 2012, http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/wham-citys-blue-knight

5Robby Rackleff, accessed on Vimeo webpage, March 14, 2012, http://vimeo.com/rackleff/videos

6MICA Media Relations, “Maryland Art Place Exhibition Features Work by MICA’s Recent MFA Graduates…”, accessed on MICA website, March 14, 2012, http://www.mica.edu/news/maryland_art_place_exhibition_features_work_by_micas_recent_mfa_graduates_july_7-aug_29.html

7Robby Rackleff, “Dark Fortress Occult Master of Space: Jaguar”, accessed on YouTube page, March 14, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foWiMl9WRGc&feature=related

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