Brandon Edgar Allen Neatly Deconstructs Well-Worn Video Game Controllers

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Simultaneously showcasing the art of construction as well as deconstruction, photographer Brandon Edgar Allen captures the inner workings of some of our favorite video game controllers in his series entitled Deconstructed. The Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, and Playstation consoles are all represented with their circuit boards, buttons, and plastic containers neatly organized on a rustic wood background. Allen’s photographs depict controllers that were played until they wouldn’t play any more. Buttons are worn down and mutilated. Plastic is dirty and torn. Sometimes, the parts were fried.

Despite its niche appeal, these objects are so ingrained into our culture that even you can probably recognize them even if you don’t play video games. The shape of the controller has become an symbol for its specific console and our not-so-new national pastime, especially as the next generation Playstations and XBoxes come with increasingly more “non game” features.

Fans and non fans can both appreciate this series. Those who love video games will enjoy the nostalgia that comes from seeing these well-loved controllers. Those who aren’t video game fanatics can enjoy Allen’s work as a study of objects, and a series full of small idiosyncrasies. (Via Junk Culture) Read More >

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Celebrity Nipple Slips Turned Into Probing Works Of Art

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The now-infamous Playboy image later re-appropriated by Shinji

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For his project “Nipple,” the multimedia artist Shinji Murakami approaches female eroticism in an unexpected way, creating 8-bit images from photographs of Janet Jackson’s Superbowl “nip-slip,” Paris Hilton’s breast-baring bikini, and Kim Kardashian’s Playboy images. In constructing the pixilated images, the artist focuses solely on a tiny square area of each celebrity’s nipple.

In bringing the erogenous zone into the digital age, Shinji paradoxically desexualizes this part of the female body; while the original images are intended to be or considered to arousing, the blown-up nipple’s abstract, geometric pixel patterns inspire no erotic response. In this way, the work might be seen as a brutal reminder that, try as it might, digital media cannot stand in for true sexual intimacy.

Or perhaps “Nipple” is an unsettling prophecy: as we rely more upon technology, this series represents a more modern “sexy.” Erotic images of women’s bodies are becoming more accessible and more mass-produced; the video game industry, whose advanced technology serves as Shinji’s inspiration, has been criticized for its objectification of women. “Nipple” is that idea taken to the extreme; in these works, these female subjects are reduced to a single body part, and in turn, that body part is pixelated and transformed into an utterly dehumanized abstraction.

That is not to say that the images don’t contain beauty; in fact, the simplicity of their geometric form spotlights lovely hues. Each woman’s flesh becomes a digital tapestry of unexpected color variances. Like a modern take on the work of French Impressionists, “Nipple” precisely examines and deconstructs its subjects into tiny sections; here, in the place of a heavy brushstroke, is a pixel. What do you think of this conceptual take on the cultural connotations of the female body? Is it offensive or refreshing?

Take a look at more of Shinji’s brilliant and fun pixilated, video game-inspired work below! (via Spoon & TamagoShinji Murakami, and Game Scenes)
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TABOR ROBAK

Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.

Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something.  BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game.  I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.

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Gleaming The Video Game!

I usually don’t like viral videos that promote products but this is really creative and unique. 36 Freeborders re-create a giant falling block video game down the streets of San Francisco at night. It’s like Gleaming The Cube meets Tetris… Awesome!

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