Paul B. Davis utilises outdated/obsolete computer technologies, including most notably Nintendo games systems, in order to perform specialist interventions into the territory of the digital art medium. While the materials utilised are ready-made, the use principle is entirely hand crafted; Davis altering the existing code while adding nothing new. This idea, the implemented projection of an alternative potential onto a ready-made object, exactly and succinctly captures the structured abridgement, between computers and art, between theory and praxis, ongoing in Davis practice.
Still from “Five in One”, 2007. DVD projection of Hacked Nintendo Cartridge.
8-Bit Construction Set” – Vinyl LP, 2000
Still from “Super Abstract”, 2000. Hacked Nintendo Cartridge.
All images courtesy of SEVENTEEN
This exhibition comprises two large projections. One is a new NES hack that takes its form from the pirate video game cartridges that first alerted Davis to the possibility of intervening with games. These multicarts often had for or five different games on one cartridge and echoing this, Davis is presenting five different works on one machine. Fittingly these pirated works are not all by Davis hand, as he loots excerpts from other BEIGE collective hacks, questioning authorship in the already grey area of software as readymade. The second piece is a new video, a collaboration with the trans-media collective Paper Rad, which accentuates and aesthecises artefacts inherent in video compression formats, particularly MPEG-4 [see Video Compression Study II, 2007]. A third work, in collaboration with Cory Arcangel, titled Fat Bits, is a triptych of monitors which presents close up images of an NHL ice hockey game, converted into imagery housed in an NES. Reminiscent of the timeless NES Ice Hockey game, these abstracted motions of brawling figures present a bacon-esque scene, groaning and grunting in a slow motion and distorted struggle.