Created from SuperMario for Nintendo 64.
First shown at the Armory Show exhibition, with Rebecca Camhi Gallery, NYC, 2002.
A film by Miltos Manetas
Manifesto of Art After Videogames
NOW YOU ARE IN THE PICTURE, NOW YOU ARE NOT
Mario, starts his adventures in the Nintendo 64 game, by throwing himself inside paintings. By doing so, he enters a scenario and collects some experience (gold coins in the game). When he is exhausted, he doesn't die, he just returns to the castle-where these paintings are hanging - he can relax there and choose what to do next. The game is a multi-levelled experience, exciting and also boring, very similar to 'real life'.
But of course, a videogame is a commercial product after all so it's revelatory power is limited. Feelings - which could be direct and simple, become complex and confused. Purpose takes over the 'gamer'. After a while, the player is not discovering new terrain anymore: he is now simply working.
This way, beauty, collapses into entertainment, and the opportunity of a never seen before socialisation - the communication between humans and cartoons- becomes just another page in the script of the 'Society of Spectacle'. Videogames turned to the same narrative, they end up to be nothing else but 'Reality'. That's where Art steps in and saves the day.
THE ZEN OF NON-PLAYING
An artist who works with videogames, doesn't create or changes anything himself. He/she just extracts the hidden notion by looking carefully the parade of symbols which the game is offering already. An explosion is captured and turned into a Turner-like landscape. A monster becomes romantic when instead of shooting it, you take photos of it. Pokemon are presented exactly as Pokemon - little pocket monsters out of proportion. As well as a painter is not the one eats a piece of bread but the one who paints it, a videogame artist is not someone who creates a videogame, but someone who copies it. It's easy and beautiful and for that reason, the coolest thing to do.
Miltos Manetas, 2004