Controller: Artists Crack the Game Code
InterAccess is pleased to present Controller: Artists Crack the Game Code, an exhibit featuring the work of five artists that modify video games by exploiting glitches in the code, adding or removing elements in the game and isolating specific visual components. By hacking the game code, these works question the latent meaning of the gaming language: who designs the software and for what end, who�s controlling whom?
Please join us for a special opening reception on Friday February 24 at 7:30 pm when the gallery will be transformed into an interactive arcade for all to play. Participating artists Myfanwy Ashmore, Tasman Richardson, Anita Fontaine + Yumi-co., Prize Budget for Boys, and RSG (Alexander Galloway) will be in attendance.
InterAccess also presents an artist talk with Alexander Galloway (RSG), which will take place earlier in the day, Friday February 24, 3 pm at the Ontario College of Art & Design auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto. The talk will be presented as part of Part of the OCAD President's Speakers Series. Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. Galloway previously worked for six years at Rhizome.org, and is the author of Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization (MIT Press, 2004). Gaming, his series of essays on the aesthetics and politics of video games will appear in spring 2006 from University of Minnesota Press.
In Myfanwy Ashmore's mario trilogy, viewers are invited to play three hacked versions of the original Super Mario Brothers game- in mario battle no. 1, all the architecture of the first level of the game has been removed, leaving an empty landscape in which the player can take mario for a walk. Her work mario_is_drowning is a similar hack, only this time Mario is underwater and has a limited time before he runs out of air and dies. In mario_doing_time, Mario is trapped behind prison walls, counting down the seconds of his prison sentence.
Prize Budget for Boys's PacMondrian and Caleroids are custom designed arcade cabinets that take classic arcade games PacMan and Asteroids and combine them with the work of famous artists Piet Mondrian and Alexander Calder. The cabinets are fully functional and playable to gallery visitors.
RSG's work Prepared Playstation is an installation using three scenes inside the game Tony Hawk's Underground 2. Using unmodified versions of the PlayStation game, this work exploits bugs and glitches in the code to create jolting game loops. Video games are the content of the work; no additional footage or editing is used. After being "prepared," the game plays itself perpetually.
Anita Fontaine + Yumi-co's CuteXdoom is a game installation that explores modern cultures' addiction to cuteness. Your mission is to become a member of the toy worshipping Yumi-co cult and gain access to the exclusive temple-quarters. To accomplish this, you must collect enough toys to make an offering and please the robotic panda guru, who will in return give you a special gift. The game runs within the game Unreal Tournament 2003.
Apollo Shrapnel Part 1 and Restless < Wrath are two previously unseen works of Tasman Richardson�s Atari glitch video series. These videos explore abstract colour and form through captures of Atari game manipulations.
Controller: Artists Crack the Game Code is generously supported by Creemore Springs Brewery and the Ontario College of Art & Design.
InterAccess gratefully thanks the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.