Total Refusal is an open artists’ collective which criticizes and artistically appropriates contemporary video games. However, as most mainstream game narratives employ the same infinite loops of reactionary tropes, the genre largely fails to challenge the values of their players and instead affirms hegemonial moral concepts. Acknowledging that this media is currently not realizing its cultural potential, artists aim to appropriate digital game spaces and put them to new use. Moving within games but casting aside the intended gameplay, they rededicate these resources to new activities and narratives, looking to create “public” spaces with a critical potential.

Total Refusal are Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf, and others.

Robin Klengel is an artist, illustrator and cultural anthropologist. Since 2017 he is vice chairman of the interdisciplinary art and culture space Forum Stadtpark.

Leonhard Müllner is a visual artist and media researcher. He studied Visual Art and Media Art and is currently writing his PHD in Practice in the field of Cultural Studies.

Michael Stumpf studied Philosophy at the University of Vienna and is currently studying Media, Art and Cultural Theory at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz. Now works as a philosopher, designer and artist.