October 12, 2004

“Hypermedia” @ the Orange Lounge

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 12:49 am

Atari Poetry IVThanks to a tip from Scott, I recently visited the “Orange Lounge” at South Coast Plaza (part of the Orange County Museum of Art) — a space “devoted exclusively to the presentation and interpretation of video, computer and Internet-based art, audio works, and other forms of new media.” A welcome addition to the SoCal scene!

The inaugural show (which closed September 26) was titled “Hypermedia.” Unfortunately, none of the work happened to “branch or perform on request.” But I enjoyed the show, and there was even a piece of game-oriented elit!

Yucef Merhi’s Atari Poetry IV (2004) was created for the show and installed in the window facing passers-by. Beneath a small color CRAIG television was an Atari VCS, holding a cartridge with an authentic-looking font reading “Atari Poetry IV.” In a pulsing, color-changing, giant-pixel font (that reminded me of some of my early digital art experiments, conducted in BASIC’s low-rez graphics mode — and stored on large floppies I still have around somewhere) it read:

Atari Poetry IV cartridge

TO LIVE IS
TO CONSPIRE
AGAINST
DEATH
KNOWING
THAT DEATH
IS OUR
BEST ALLY

The artist writes, “One of my firmest convictions is that poetry transforms objects into art in the same way that it converts noise into music. The physical object in my work is an extension of the poem, which expands the potential of words and extends the limits of language; and the poem becomes a prolongation of the object, providing an emotive but meaningful presence.”

One Response to ““Hypermedia” @ the Orange Lounge”


  1. Andrew Davis Says:

    I also visited the show and, like you, I particularly enjoyed the work by Merhi, Atari Poetry IV.

    I felt mesmerized by the way he is dealing with poetry-code-object and, at the same time, the history of technology and videogames. The poem really touched me. I havenít felt something like that in a long time.

    I think the work is clever. It has a perfect balance between content, concept, and realization.

    After doing a quick research, I found an article that mentions his work: http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2004/08/05/sections/entertainment/entertainment/article_190721.php

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