Kevin Williams visits the Faile Bast Deluxx Fluxx arcade art gallery
We recently reported about a new art gallery that opened up in London that used arcade machines as part of the art and now Kevin Williams, editor of The Stinger Report has checkedit out and has provided a write-up of the galley which is part of an upcoming Stinger Report. You can read about it by hitting the break.
From an upcoming Stinger Report feature:
…One of the latest installations that has utilized amusement is ‘The Faile Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade’ – with the two floors of Lazarides central London Greek Street, Soho gallery handed over to the creations by Faile, Brooklyn’s infamous collaborative duo, early pioneers in the contemporary street art movement – the installation called “creating an
explosively immersive installation”. Utilizing original imagery from an array of pop culture, their practice amalgamates: prints, paintings,collage, sculpture, murals and urban interventions. Entering the ‘arcade’ installation, with a highly stylized neon-sign enticing passers-by in, the top floor of the gallery has been populated with 10 amusement cabinets – a selection of game systems including two Taito ‘Operation Wolf’ cabinets (one newly entitled ‘Double Barr Delights’), along with a SEGA Dayton diving cabinet and other – all covered in prints, and aged to fit the artists perceptions of the space (along with the walls of the gallery). Machines marquees either left plain or with titles such as ‘Its Just Mirror Love’, ‘Double Barr Delights’, ‘Bubble’, and ‘Danger: Within Me Stiletto: Save You’.
All the cabinets have been re-populated with specially created Flash game content. Though the games only had a semblance of play, created to promote the artists message. These highly simplistic games – however one game proved more compelling than the others, using 3D imagery viewed by wearing colored stereographic glasses; reminiscent of ‘ZAXXON’ – while none of the game content had a scoring mechanism. Though the machines are all on free-play, players can buy specially minted tokens — that if used on the machines activate unique screens. The token dispenser was equally themed, and raised eye-brows as to its high charges, two token costing £5, or 20 for £20. The environment was the artists’
representation of what they saw as a arcade reflecting their pop culture message – though like a real arcade, the venue suffered from some broken machines. Another smaller neon-sign encouraged the venturous ‘Downstairs’ — greeted by a black-light experience with specially painted floor and two decorated foosball tables.
The artists’ installation emulates all aspects of pop culture, even down to selling t-shirts of the installations logo (the arcades neon-sign) – sold for £20. It was also revealed that the installation exhibits are also up for grabs – the site selling the re-decorated cabinets from £12,000 (nearly twice the original machines worth). It was noted that the gallery was located only a stones throw from an actual arcade (run by Family Leisure) that also had a neon-sign encouraging players down stairs for pool and foosball — how much of this fueled the artists imagination was not revealed.
Attempts were made to ask some questions of the gallery through their PR company after the press announcement of the event running from February to March – but by the time of going to the wire no reply had been received. These questions included if Japanese amusement manufacturer Taito had been approached regarding the representation of their arcade cabinet for this installation – or if any other amusement manufacturer had been approached regarding the use of their hardware? Secondly the question of if the London Borough of the City of Westminster (where the installation was located) had been approached regarding the required license for running amusement machines and selling tokens to operate elements of them? A final question being how much of the exhibit had been inspired by the local arcades in the area of if this was a totally
The Lazarides galleries is no stranger to the pop culture exhibitions from the amusement scene, having hoisted the ‘Invaders’ mosaic art works …