May 14 - 25 2002
Curated by Rebecca Cannon


The City of Melbourne is proud to support the exhibition
Trigger: Game Art at gamma space through their 2002 Arts Grant Program.

Quilted Thought Organ

Melbourne sound artist delire modified a Quake II game engine to create a real-time audio performance environment. It is used both live and as an installation. Objects and actions in the virtual environment trigger sound samples, allowing the game to be played as a musical instrument. Delire says “as a conceptual territory, this is just another well-trodden foray into synaesthesia ...although as an instrument it is very flexible and demands a very different way of thinking about a performance. It commits itself better to various visual meaning systems, where a composition is distributed across an iconographic and syntactical field”.
Skin Pack
Video: Linda Erceg
Audio: Roberto J Salvatore

Skin Pack is a double video installation made with the Quake II game engine. The four characters – Crackwhore, Chastity, Chastity Marks and Nude Chick – are nude versions of established avatars from the game. Sound is sampled from porn movies. Skin Pack analyses the importance of viewer perspective in pornography, creating changes in the perceived dominance of voyeur or object.
Nerve Game
Interactive: Vanessa Sowerwine
Audio: Cornel Wilczek

Nerve Game brings together several artistic forms. It is a simple interactive game, not unlike the multitude of Flash games on the internet. But it is also a choose-your-own-adventure and an interactive comic. Nerve Game is a great example of the merging of art forms first witnessed in early films, now taken up by computer games.

Interactive: Isobel Knowles
Audio: Isobel, Haima and Gus.

Isobel is a Melbourne based sound and animation artist. As a result of her strong design sense, the games in BLAM are extremely cute. But don’t be misled: the challenges in these games are difficult to interpret and overcome. BLAM celebrates the importance of design in vision and sound, whilst simultaneously submerging the user in the significance of interactive design.
Level 5
Rosetta Mastrantone

Level 5 virtually recreates the gamma space gallery inside a computer game. The player interacts with this first person shooter – fragging bots and dying – in much the same way as Unreal Tournament, the engine on which Level 5 is built. However, the implications of this interactivity are exposed once the player quits the game and ‘returns’ to the gallery. How does the experience of killing and being killed in a known environment affect our perception of that environment? What are the psychological implications of virtual experiences cross-referenced with real-world navigational memory cues?

Corby and Bailey

This work by London-based Tom Corby and Gavin Bailey consists of a Free Software GameBoy emulator whose rendering system has been pathologically rewritten to degenerate over time. Variations in the rendering are triggered by user interactions, injecting a subjective process into the rendering of software instructions. As software, the emulator is provided as open source code available for others to extend; the binary, source and documentation can be considered as component parts of the work. Rather than written from scratch, the code may be considered a 'readymade' into which an artistic intervention has been made.

All Your Base
Video: Various
Audio: Zero Wing game from Sega Megadrive.

AYB began with a catch-phrase badly translated into English from a Japanese computer game. The phrase, ‘All Your Base Are Belong to Us’, was meant to be: “Thanks to the co-operation of the UN forces, we’ve taken over all of your bases”. It’s no wander this strangely appealing phrase has taken on cult status. In helping the quote to infiltrate international media – it’s actually appeared on the cover of TIME magazine – the devotees of AYB have embraced an opportunity to play a part in an international grassroots art installation. Through exposure it mimics and exposes US international policy, which dictates the quote to its foreign victims.

Urban Invasion
Video: Invader

Invader is a French installation artist whose works have invaded public spaces in major cities across the globe. Invader glues tiles – shaped like space invaders – on to public buildings and streets. A true invader, he doesn’t ask anyone’s permission. Rather, Invader’s playful artworks extend the potential of computer games, physically realising virtual existences. As appealing as they are, it still seems wrong that these invaders aren’t the least bit disturbing to encounter on the street.

Matrix and Tum Raider
Strange Company

Edinburgh-based Strange Company are world leaders in the production of ‘Machinima’, a method of animation that uses an existing computer game and/or its engine. Players set up a LAN and use the game bots as the characters for their animation. The script is then acted out with the bots, with the game play recorded to tape for editing.

Arcade 84
Dave Dries

Made with footage from MAME (a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), Arcade 84 is a homage to the 80’s arcade. Purely motivated by nostalgia, Arcade 84 is indicative of the strong influence that the computer game entertainment revolution has had on its audience.

The Buff and the Brutal.
Video: Droma Productions.
Audio: LCDCI

The Buff and the Brutal is an example of ‘Machinima’ from Melbourne’s Droma production group. They have used the first-person shooter game Quake as the context for a soap opera about gay gladiators. Five characters from the game try to deal with their emotions in a world where death and destruction are a way of life.
Smile and Fresh
Video: Isobel Knowles
Audio: Askii

Askii and Isobel provide excellent examples of the retro style of early computer games, which remains appealing to many modern producers of pop art. It is possible that the appeal of this style results from the way in which 8-bit, lo-res aesthetics symbolise the core structures of digital production: uniformity, geometry and simplicity.

Video Computer System
Video: Lobo filmes
Audio: Golden Shower

According to Brazilian band Golden Shower: “The sole purpose of the Golden Shower virus is to revert the world to what it used to be in the ‘80s, starting by taking over the world of pop music”. Made almost entirely from ‘80s computer games, this video clip joins traditional game themes together into a narrative. We follow one character through a myriad of environments and challenges to attain our goal: reaching a Golden Shower gig and picking up. This work highlights the interactive element potent in computer games, where we are placed directly in the position of the character on the screen. The song that accompanies the video was made entirely from Atari game sounds.

Audio: Tim Koch
Video: Frog Bomb

Tim Koch is a South Australian musician whose gorgeous electronic melodies are made on the Sid Station. The Sid is a recently developed synthesizer that uses the sound chip from the Commodore 64. New York visual artists Frog Bomb made the accompanying clip using imagery from a generic retro computer game.
Audio and Video: Collapsicon

The Nestune is an audio visual controller unit that connects to any Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), allowing manual override of the NES's internal circuitry to create visual and auditory corruption. All parameters are controlled via adjustable knobs. The Nestune also accepts three audio signals to trigger and control various NES circuitry, creating an 8-bit audio-visualiser. The Nestune is too fragile for public use, but an example of the output is on display.













Poster design David Campbell