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Shane Mecklenburger

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Shane Mecklenburger

Artist statement

My work investigates post-industrial culture through the common uses and origins of modeling, gaming and information technologies. In my projects 3D models represent a quixotic attempt to make sense of things. To me games draw attention to the rules we (un)knowingly agree upon from one situation to another. I also use games and models for their association with childhood, which I see as an endless condition.

Lately I’ve become interested in shooter games and how they construct and conflate entertainment, childhood, war and masculinity. The video “Halcyon Atmosphere” and the sculpture it generated, “Semi-Automatic”, both use the sublime transformation of fearsome or horrific subjects into objects of contemplation and beauty, approximating of the kind of sublime experience of becoming immersed in a shooter game.

In shooter games, the gun quickly replaces the body as the primary site of agency, status and control. So in “Friendly Fire” we stripped a shooter game of all its other elements, including gravity. Only guns are left, floating in an infinitely empty expanse. “Friendly Fire” explores basic questions of personal agency within a set of rules and a field of “play” that appear to be familiar, but are in fact all inverted. The more the player shoots, the more guns appear and the less control the player has.

This sort of inversion is similarly illustrated in “on_The Ball”. A cue ball, which, like the shooter’s gun, is another presumptive “actor” or site of agency and control, has been fixed to the center of the video image. The table bounces around the ball, an inversion which calls attention to the limits of the playing field. The table becomes a metaphor for the unspoken rules we agree upon from game to game, from moment to moment. Who has more agency, the player or the agreed-upon boundaries of the game?

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January 22, 2010 at 9:46 am