FAILE & Båst: Deluxx Fluxx Arcade
Brooklyn based artists create luminous video games arcade for the Edinburgh Art Festival
This article is from 2014.
Hidden deep in the bowels of Summerhall, the building’s clinically austere atmosphere gives way to a riot of colour and sound as Faile and Bast’s Deluxx Fluxx Arcade explodes against the senses. Those of a certain generation might remember the ambience of an old-school video games arcade, with lights flashing, machines whirring, and the seductive promise of being taken out of yourself by the experience of being in the space. Much like an art gallery, in fact. Those whose senses were young when they used to attend arcades will find the experience has been heightened to fill in the gaps here, with retina-assaulting fluorescent murals painted on the walls, ceiling and floor, offering a disorientating surround experience.
Brooklyn-based artists Faile & Bast say they sample imagery in the way a DJ samples sounds, and there’s much in this show which suggests a steeping in the culture of the 1980s, from the vintage of the equipment used to the dated use of fluorescence and the trashy pop art images adorning the walls. Yet to look more closely is to find an emptiness at the heart of the experience. The home-made games have limited to zero functionality: one allows you to control a woman pacing back and forth on a desert island. It’s an exhibition based on nostalgia, on image and association rather than real, lived-in experience, but strangely beautiful when you stop and let it wash over you.
Summerhall, 560 1580 until Fri 26 Sep, free.