Selective Fire is about virtual gun culture, my fascination with digital weaponry during the formative years of my youth, and how that has conflicted and led to my current anti-gun political stance. As an American and a gamer, gun culture is ingrained in my subconscious. In works of entertainment, I find guns fascinating, yet in real life, I find them to be terrifying beyond description. I first started playing first-person shooter games when I was eight: my first being Halo: Combat Evolved. I would often look for ways to bring those guns into other forms of entertainment I enjoyed, including making a sub-machine gun out of Lego pieces for use with my Bionicle toys. Growing up, these shooter games became the tools I used to create art, and now with gaming being part of mainstream culture, the concept of the game-loving mass-shooter seemed like a thing of the past.
And yet, there has once again been another horrible school shooting, and many politicians, including Donald Trump, are trying to blame the tragedy on anything but guns (or rampant white supremacy): mental health, unarmed teachers, and even video games. I know that this is false: video games do not cause people to become mass-murders. Yet, I can’t help but think that America’s gun-centric culture (that I take part in) has contributed to the state of the world today. My soft-spoken nature often leads to my silence on important matters, but being a Jew during the current presidential administration, I can not be silent, and the best way I know how to speak is with art. The images in Selective Fire were made using a combination of appropriated 3D models from various violent video games, scanned Bionicle pieces, and large-format landscape photography from real life and virtual sources. There is also a generative video piece created using the same 3D models and the Unity game engine.
Published 6 September 2018