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An excerpt from Efrain Calderon Jr.'s review of the JODI show at vertexList (edited wiki-style and for length--not too obtrusively I hope):
Taking up most of the space, however, was the multi-monitor "Composite Club." Part of JODI's current "screen grab" period, the piece documents different results obtained from their hacking of Playstation's Eyetoy video game device. Eyetoy incorporates a camera input that has direct effect on gameplay: the software interprets speed of movement, direction of movement, as well as light and dark parameters. Instead of the movements of players JODI substituted popular movies, cartoons, and classic films as camera input.

The end product is a simulacrum so complex Baudrillard might have had a tough time unpacking it. With their recordings of video game programs interacting with prerecorded works, JODI shows us the absurdity of each bit of media as it tries to come to terms with others with totally different value sets and determinations of success or failure. The video game plays against a movie that is unaware that it is playing a game. The game is exposed as nothing more than its own interpretation of various physical stimuli, destroying any suspension of disbelief.

In one screen, for example, the Spider-Man movie was prompted to file the virtual nails of an Eyetoy game "customer." Spidey, doubled in speed, was aided by the director's fast cuts to help trigger the right game response. Though ultimately Spider-Man lost, the game still proclaimed "You met the quota." This might be a comment on modern cinema's box office success even with trite storylines and regurgitated concepts in our "remix"-dominant culture. Most likely though, JODI is exposing the very absurdity of perception and communication. The inability of these different media to interact correctly could apply to our own world. Each person's perception of the same thing is completely unique. Whether each film wins or loses the game is unimportant. The game itself is unimportant, and the fact that it is pre-recorded only points this out further.

As these ideas flooded my head, I realized I could barely make out the sound effects over the chatter of the reception. I tried not to focus on a specific screen of "Composite Club," and as I moved my eyes around I realized that I was as much a part of the "club" as anyone else in the room. Couples and friends were talking and laughing, each enjoying the artwork in completely different ways. Social norms played out at the refreshment table, with lines forming, and polite "thank you's" and "you're welcomes" escaping the guests" lips. Why did one woman choose the Chardonnay over the red wine? Did that blonde really want to talk to that guy? These questions seem just as much a part of "Composite Club" in their absurdity.

Though mass produced, Eyetoy's code is written like any other computer programmed device but its unique code only makes sense to its processors. Similarly, at the core, our ideas are personal and unique, occasionally hacked and exposed by monitors that can reflect our own limits and inabilities in each of our own life long interactive "games."

- tom moody 5-26-2007 5:16 pm [link]