Mutated Game Form 2015
Lara Bank, Sky Burchard, Derric Eady, Naomi Fox, Johnnie JungleGuts, Norm Laich, Fabian Marcaccio, Eddo Stern, Vladimir Todorovic, Angela Washko
Nan Rae Gallery
7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91504 – 7846
Exhibition opens Aug. 25, 2015 until Sept 27, 2015
Artist reception is on Sunday Aug. 30, 2015 from 3-6 p.m. with musical performance by Johnnie JungleGuts.
I love playing video games. My love for video games started in the 80’s by playing Atari and peaked in the early 90’s with many late nights playing the Street Fighter video game series. Afterwards, it would be an on and off love affair, up until my adulthood. Recently I purchased an Xbox 360 with the intention to just play workout games. This ultimately failed and I rekindled my love affair for video games. I found myself wanting to play first person shooting games such as Call of Duty and The Walking Dead series, or strategy games like SocialChess and Clash of Clans. I began noticing video game imagery in my friend’s work and I wondered if it was always there or if I was seeing it for the first time with my new “video gamer” lenses. By examining how my peers have been using this medium, it has inspired me to create a video game as a progression in my own work. I have along way to go.
The artists in this exhibition, to varying degrees, show an appreciation for video games. The exhibition’s premise explores how video game graphics and/or technology have influenced contemporary artists. Some artists in this exhibition references games from the 90’s such as Super Mario Brother and Megaman, to more current games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Other artists in this exhibition indirectly reference video games by using animation techniques used in the video games. This exhibition is by no means a comprehensive show of artists using video game graphics and technology. Corey Archangel’s Super Mario Clouds, Mel Chin’s KNOWMAD, and Marco Brambilla’s Halflife, are some of the precursors to the artists in this show.
Lara Bank creates highly detailed sculptures of assault rifles (similar to the rifles used games like the Call of Duty series), fused with animal forms like foxes and quails. The sculptures embody a reality of power and sensuousness that mimic objects and textures in video games. Sky Burchard makes foam abstract sculptures that are reminiscent of Rachel Whiteread’s casts of the negative space underneath chairs. Instead of chairs, however, these sculptures are taken from video games such as Super Mario Bro. Burchard has preserved his new sculptures in their current entropic state by leaving them out over several years to decay and collect dust. Johnnie JungleGuts performs by singing to digitized 8-bit songs. The songs echo the soundtracks used in early Nintendo games. Naomi Fox and Norm Laich make paintings with the notion of movement and pattern. Naomi Fox makes intimate abstract oil paintings of classical cartoon characters between animated motions, while Norm’s circular paintings use the hard edge graphics that can be associated with early space traveling games. Fabian Marcaccio is widely known for his large-scale Paintants. Marcaccio has made a visceral but humorous animation that echoes the graphic characters found in war games such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. Derric Eady, Eddo Stern, and Vladamir Todorovic have contributed interactive artworks for this exhibition. All three artists reflect current issues with a personal voice in their interactive artwork. Todorovic’s computer game Nildegree is about saving the world from environmental disaster by making wise investments. Eddo Stern’s humorous video Best Flamewar Ever explores the language and arguments with the chat between online role playing game. In contrast, Eady’s Open City Underground invites players to roam free in a utopic virtual meditative space. Vladamir, Stern, and Eady’s work finds equilibrium in their personal, social, and environmental awareness of today. Lastly, Angela Washko ‘s videos undercut the way World of Warcraft is typically played by interviewing other players throughout the game. The interview questions range from thoughts on what feminism is to the question of why 55% of men choose women avatars? Washko’s videos blend fantasy with reality by revealing the complexities that exist in the ideologies of World of Warcraft players.
Mutated Game Form brings together a shared interest in video games and the images that video games create. The artists in this exhibition all directly and indirectly share that interest. These artworks are constructions of the social and personal transforming with the poetics of technology to reflect the possibilities of contemporary life.
Mutated Game Form 2015