JAMES BALLARD PLAYS BURNOUT

Matteo Bittanti

 

FORMAT: digital video (machinima)

 

YEAR: 2009



DESCRIPTION: JAMES BALLARD PLAYS BURNOUT The artwork consists in a video montage of simulated car crashes in Burnout Paradise (Criterion/Electronic Arts, 2008). The soundtrack features a mix of “real” automobile wrecks noises mixed with the sounds of a woman moaning and groaning.
 
Reviews: "IO NON SONO MARINETTI (I am not Marinetti) read the T-shirts worn by the protagonists of one sequence—Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Customized Marinetti—as they jog in place against the backdrop of an apocalyptic cityscape of video-game car chases marked by a sound track featuring a woman’s orgasmic moans." (Ara H. Merjian, ArtForum, 11.02.09)
 
DURATION: 9' 49", loop.
 
INSTALLATION SET-UP: In its simplest  form, installing  JAMES BALLARD PLAYS BURNOUT requires a projector, speakers, and a media player. The ideal set-up would feature a steering wheel, peddles, and 3 massive screens for a cockpit simulation. However, the wheels and peddles are not supposed to have any effect on the video – a metaphor for the inevitability of the crash and the driver’s illusion of control. It is also recommended that the simulated seat would rattle and shake at random, but frequent, intervals to simulate a popular convention of video games (i.e. the trembling generated by the force feedback effect of wheel controllers).