Gage Lindsten

Published in Issue 20

Our consciousness is held hostage in a foggy limbo each morning when we awake. We open our eyes, the sluggish mind struggles to segue from dreams— free and vivid—to IRL. For a brief moment, existence feels bizarre, weightless. Where am I? Who am I? Am I hungover? Our obedient little brains then acclimatize, they remember the pandemic, the somber monotony it’s lent to our new modes of reality. Another day inside, another day alone. We wake up in a strange room with no memory of how we got there. This appropriate mantra for our morning moments in isolation is also the first line of text to appear in the opening scene of the interactive animated series, Vessel, by Chicago-based 3D animator-illustrator, Gage Lindsten. Started nearly a month ago at the beginning of his quarantine, Vessel stars Nina, on the run from a Dr. Sphere and his androids, and a mysterious psychic hunter, The Cowboy. With comrades Veera and Zyde, the game is an interactive, immersive experience for Gage’s audience, who can weigh in to help determine what move to make next. Ever in flux and with no explicit direction, Gage’s protagonist navigates the world, puppeted along by the objective wills of those in power. Bulbous and lithe, the characters occupy an opalescent plane, punctuated by palettes of noxious black, bright fuchsia and acid lime green. Like us, they careen toward an uncertain future.

We were captivated by Gage Lindsten’s animation style, and were excited to discover his illustrations as well— smudged and vibrant, like noxious exhaust on a dark night, Gage’s figures feel spectral—with an agenda, but somehow drifting. Our feature on Gage’s Vessel expanded for print, below. – Rebecca Storm

To read this story in print, order a copy of issue 20, ships internationally.
Gage is also featured in our 2021 poster calendar.