Monday, 11 January 2016

FAQ: Why pinball?

A pinball machine is a great example of printmaking, from the screenprinted playfield wood to the backlit glass and now thanks to developments in technology the likes of 3D printed parts as well as digital control to cut down on complex circuit boards.

So you noticed I'm obsessed with the idea of building my own pinball machine. Here's why:

My aim as a visual artist and printmaker is to explore new technologies which enable a participatory experience for the viewer through interactivity and gameplay.

I'm interested in exploring the relationship between digital and physical objects - translating digital objects to physical as part of my play and making process.

Pinball and printmaking
The pinball machine is a great example of printmaking - the screenprinted playfield wood, plastic and the backlit glass. There are great possibilities for 3D printed and laser cut playfield parts such as targets.

You could also make connections between the repetition of printmaking and pinball. In printmaking the process to create a multiple edition is by the repetitive task of printing the same artwork where in pinball you are awarded by make repetitive targets.

Part of what brought me to pinball was the nostalgia of retro arcade machines, the physical presence mixed with digital technology. There are people of a certain age who have fond memories of arcades - but especially in the UK the idea of an arcade is a stale environment. Arcade games are proving to be striking back and a resurgence with a younger generation, particularly in the USA with a growth of Barcades - the UK is starting to follow.

Recently I've noticed nostalgia is a huge theme in my work, especially my printmaking - where I have focused on memories and visualised them. Kinda like processing a roll of film from my memory, but I process via drawing and printmaking.

The Pinball Machine
Simple really, it's a cool game. But more... I felt drawn towards doing a pinball project after The Art of Ping Pong, but as I researched and played more and more I have really been sucked into the dazzling and addictive allure of the games. I have traveled some long distances to play and made some new friends through playing at leagues, that it has become more than just a project to me.

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