Recently I’ve started to carefully watch the Instagram ads for Family Farm Adventure. In one of my favorites, there is a young bride who’s just been cheated on by the groom and is in exile with her young daughter. The mother and daughter are shown pacing through the snow—they have to hurry as the advertisement can be a max 30 seconds long. They enter a rundown cabin with an unlit fireplace. You, the viewer, can try to help them by completing tasks that are quite banal to most capable adults, for example by spotting two identical shapes and matching them. By solving these tasks, you are allowed to have an impact on the lives of these poor mortals. After the first puzzle is solved, the fireplace in the game becomes active, which you notice as its outline starts to glow. You must grow the fire for them by choosing an object in the room. If you’re not a moron, you’ll probably go with a book, right? Great, the book burns and warms our lady (still in her wedding dress) and her daughter. But as soon as the fire is lit, a gust of wind blows through a hole in the wall and blows the fire out. Now we have to decide what to use to patch the hole: wooden planks or newspapers (they are in Russian, the text is blurry, I recognize only the name of the city). But this ad is just a simulation of the game, and the phantom hand makes a fatal mistake by choosing the newspapers. The lady and her baby freeze to death. Both of them turn instantly into ice sculptures, fall on the ground, and the game is over.
Books burn better than stones, Russian newspapers won’t make you warm, brides turn into ice sculptures. If we put all these pieces into a box and shake it well, they might create some sort of meaning. But I prefer not to move the box, and instead just watch the pieces lying still at the bottom.
—Text by Zuzanna Bartoszek