Volker Morawe, Tilman Reiff


A video game as a "modern-day duelling artefact"

Table-top console

Table-top console



As part of the artist collective //////////fur////, the two media artists Volker Morawe and Tilman Reiff developed "PainStation" at the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne in 2001. In the subtitle of the work, the artists describe their work as a "modern-day duelling artefact", so it is not surprising that the console is based on the "mediaeval" game of "Pong". As in a duel, two opponents face off at the table-top console; they cannot choose their weapons themselves but rather are confronted with three different repressive measures depending on the progress of the game: heat, electric shocks or lashes of the whip.
If one of the players misses the ball during the game, thereby allowing it to touch one of the paint inflictor symbols (PIS) behind the "bat", the painful consequence of this failure is immediate: depending on the symbol, the player’s hand is maltreated for varying durations and with varying at degrees of severity. In an ironic, subversive way, Morawe and Reiff unmask the common practice of games as a contemporary duelling method in which a virtual game turns into painful reality.
(Silke Albrecht)

Artists / Authors


Germany, 2001


» http://www.khm.de/%7…/painstation_ger.html


, Apr 13, 2004