Aram Bartholl
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The de_dust installation consists of a large number of various sized stacked crates arranged in a cluster. All the crates are printed with the same imitation wood texture from the computer game Counter-Strike.

What has been simulated in the 3D world with a texture covered form is transferred back into the world from which it originally came. The original function of the wooden crate as a packing medium is abandoned in the computer game Counter-Strike. Here the crates are used as design elements to complicate space and are a decisive factor in the course of the most-played internet-based ego-shooter.The order and distribution of the crates serves the moves and tactics of the players in the 3D world. The game characters in the computer have infinite lives, renewable after each round. The game exists only on the monitor, controlled by mouse and keyboard. Death in the computer is a clean death. The constantly recurrent textures are immaculate and constant, they never wear out. Blood and corpses dissolve by themselves into virtual thin air after few seconds. The crate, which is always the same, is an image map called “de_dust“, one of many changing game scenarios which appear frequently in varying sizes. The desert scenario imitates the appearance of certain countries or regions but remains locationless within its restricted spaces. The game design transforms the wooden crate into a generic, duplicatable and locationless object.

Aram Bartholl 2004

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