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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathGame Art
Atari Noise (Constantini, Arcangel)Video Synthesizer und ‘TV-Cello’ Collectibles (Paik, Nam June; Yalkut, Jud), 1965

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was connected to a television set. Constantini, a Mexican, modified the console—which today can be bought cheaply at flea markets or on Ebay—into an «audiovisual noise pattern generator keyboard,» as he calls it. This means that crossed some of the elements of the play console with each other so that it was no longer the ‹correct› images that were shown but rather a chaotic muddle of distorted picture elements. For example, a tennis game became a row of greenish and bluish lines where a serious effort was required to recognize any pattern. Constantini added a row of buttons to the console chassis with which the image could be modified continually. This deconstruction of visual raw materials is not just part of a long, modern tradition of alienation, which we will see in the next chapter on modifications. «Atari Noise» refers to one of the most important works of media art: the «Videosynthesizer» (1969/1992) by Nam June Paik, but in a low-tech version. While at that time Paik had to bring in Shuya Abe, a technician, in developing a machine where moving images could be manipulated in real time, «Atari Noise» reflects a media culture in which the required hardware is available as scrap


electrical parts. The perpetually new images that the machine generates stress the special properties of these ‹game screens› by creating abstract distortions, and make it clear that there is simply no other medium that can produce such images.

Jodi: «Jet Set Willy © 1984» (2002)

«Jet Set Willy © 1984» by Jodi, which was created for a travelling exhibition in Basel, Berlin and New York, is an alienated version of a game for the Sinclair Spectrum, one of the first affordable home computers at the beginning of the 1980s.[26] Since it is a ‹modification›, it could be included in that category as well. However, since Jodi has been showing the work not only with the possibility of interactive ‹self-service› but also as a linear video projection, I have decided for a different category in this case. Without the usual possibilities of intervention, the viewer sees the images go by like a combination of abstract cartoons in the Oskar Fischinger tradition and an animated work of concrete poetry. At first, apparently meaningless chains of letters from code segments appear on screen, which at best make sense only as images put together with letters. Then multi-coloured quadrilaterals move through a room built out of thick

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