Artist Explains WTC Space Invaders Exhibit at Games Convention

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The Invaders! art exhibition that shows twin waves of Space Invaders taking down the Twin Towers was created by French-American artist Douglas Edric Stanely for the 30 year celebration of Space Invaders, the artist says on his site. Stanely says that the exhibit is an update of one he created in September 2001. This time the exhibit is much larger, includes multiplayer support, improved tracking, high and low scores leader boards and a "stronger tie-in to the historical narrative that originally inspired me to make this version in the first place." Stanely writes that Andreas Lange of the Computer Spiele Museum offered to include him in the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders with his "somewhat ambiguous juxtaposition of this mythical game and the historical events of September 11th." Hit the jump for the press release found on the artists site. We've contacted Taito for comment and they said they would be in touch with their European counter-parts and get back to us. I'll make sure to update.

Space Invaders is one of the biggest video game legends. When the game landed in arcades world-wide in 1978, it initiated a previously unknown boom. Shortly after the appearance of the blockbuster pictures "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the "Third Kind", thanks to Space Invaders, millions of mostly young players could step in to save the world from the alien invaders with their joystick in hand. Space Invaders became a legend and a global icon. It is a frequently quoted art motif and remains omnipresent in our daily life. It is still as fresh as ever. The exhibition "Space Invaders: Die Jubiläumsshow!" (Space Invaders: the Anniversary Show) would like to pay homage to this evergreen and create an experience from its historical and current facets. In addition to a comprehensive documentation, an original Space Invaders machine naturally forms the centre of attraction. Everything is overshadowed by the interactive large installation "Invaders!" by the French-American artist Douglas Edric Stanley. The World Trade Center attacks mark a deep cut in our recent history that is still being processed. The French-American artist Douglas Edric Stanley has found an unusual – though obvious – metaphor with his work "Invaders!", which is based on the 1978 arcade original. In his interactive large installation, the players must prevent the catastrophe by controlling the well- known cannon at the lower screen border with their bodies and firing it using arm movements. Like the original, this trial is ultimately unsuccessful, thus creating an articulated and critical commentary about the current war strategy. In this regard, Douglas Edric Stanley sees Space Invaders as "a social tale that can be related to historical tales without losing its poetic power" (D.E. Stanley).


Abstract Machine



@ffmusicdj: And that's why many of us pray for the day when your way of looking at the world fades to obsolescence.

You know, we see a lot of posts on Kotaku questioning whether games can serve as art. (Maggie posts them incessantly on the weekends, and they all seem to rehash the same arguments.) But here's one instance where art actually elevates the medium (as opposed to the medium rising to the level of art). He's making us think about some powerful metaphors that have dominated the way we've looked at the world since 9/11, especially the metaphor of the "alien." However much we can denounce the "terrorists" for their horrific actions, they had reasons for doing what they did beyond being "evil." We rarely recognize that. Instead we've made the entire cause of anti-Americanism and anti-modernism into these _alien_ ideologies that can't be rationally explained. In popular discourse the "terrorists" are no longer human beings, they're monolithic invaders who can only be stopped by being killed.

And it's all right there, in beautiful video game metaphor. So as much as this guy might look like a super Eurotrash tool, he's made a great point, and he's used a medium that we all love to do it.

So grow up.