The Game of Choice
The Game of Choice
Interactive Installation, 2011
The Game of Choice is an interactive installation that embraces the dilemma of expending in the age of accumulating consumerism.
The installation consists of 20 sculptures made out of colourful recycled plastic materials that were collected mainly from hairdressing salons. Sculptures are equipped with several distance sensors, LEDs and loudspeakers and connected to each other. One sculpture is constantly lit in a completely dark installation room while it is empty. When a viewer enters the room and instinctively approaches the only light source observed, it turns off and at the same time two random sculptures in the room lit up.
The Game of Choice set up reminds of a secret treasure cave from the Middle Eastern folk tales “Thousand and One Nights” only with a modern and technological aesthetic touch. The viewer chases glowing objects in the dark space, one more sparkling and alluring than the other. But once the objects are reached and explored closely, they disappear into darkness to give way to new glowing objects so that the chase continues as the viewer’s curiosity is being constantly warmed up until he leaves the room. This game evokes a question about the nature of choice in the context of consumerism. Is it a free will that motivates us to chase appealing objects which we would like to possess or is it a designed procedure based on a natural human desire to know and understand new or hidden phenomena?
The paradox that might be at the core of this luminous captivating game is that of satisfaction from the act of having which inevitably leads to the loss of interest and at the same time opens up a possibility to be bewitched repeatedly.
Each of the 20 sculptures are made out of recycled plastic bottles of different colours and shapes attached to a hollow sphere. The spheres are attached to poles, and each of the light sculptures contains several distance sensors, LEDs and loudspeakers. When there is nobody in the room, one sculpture is lit, but when a viewer approaches it, it turns off and simultaneously two other random sculptures in the room are lit.
A simple music box style tune plays from each of the sculptures when they are lit. The sounds are all samples from the same children’s musical box. Viewer interaction with the sculptures creates a strange and faltering but harmonious audioscape.
All the wiring and technology is hidden inside the spheres, the wires running through the poles, under a whole floor carpet to a separate room or box containing the computer and two audio mixers.
The Game of Choice was exhibited at MUU Gallery 2009, and at the Ars Auttoinen summer exhibition 2012.
Concept, design, construction and sound: Minna Långström
Programming: Mikael Eriksson
Elektronics: Gregoire Rousseau