Mods + Hackers

May 15, 2011 - Sept. 16, 2011

Young Projects, Los Angeles, CA

For its summer show Young Projects will be focusing on digital projects made by artists working in the realm of game modification, hacking, patching and other code-based practices. The show includes a number of interactive works, where the viewer manipulates the work and thus, the aesthetics of the experience in real time. At the center of the exhibit is the notion of gaming, both as a social practice and as a virtual experience; both as a philosophy and as a diversion. Game patching, hacking and modifying (aka mods, where an artist appropriates and modifies an existing game) has been going on for nearly 40 years. Yet the notion of games has a much longer lineage within the context of contemporary art. For the Dada artists, most notably Duchamp, games were the most potent way of exploring notions of chance, mathematics, structure and other Modernist ideals. For Guy Debord, who was also an ardent gamer, “all vital periods begin as a game, a struggle, and a journey.” Such ideas are particularly important for the current generation of artists, many of whom believe that video games have finally eclipsed both cinema and literature as the most relevant form of cultural expression.

Works Shown

Horror Chase

2002, installation with custom software

This work is based on the climatic chase sequence from Evil Dead II. The artists re-enact the scene on a specially designed stage set. Each shot in the sequence is individually digitized. Custom computer software selects these clips at random, playing them back in a seamless but continuously variable way, changing the speed and direction of play. The images are projected at cinematic scale and the computer hardware is installed in a black briefcase, which forms part of the installation.