5 in 1

Paul B. Davis

22 April 2007

Hacked Nintendo cartridge Courtesy: Seventeen Gallery, London Acknowledgements: 5 in 1 contains copies of existing Beige artworks

Homage to DIY/”pirate” multicarts often found in Hong Kong markets which take multiple games and illegally cram them all on one cartridge, Paul B. Davis crams multiple artworks from the Beige catalogue. There are stylistic nods to multicart culture in the somewhat awkward main selection screen, the misspelling of the component names (this is also a reference to bootleg hip-hop records), the lack of navigation instructions, and a slightly buggy feel. However, its authentic/illegal “pirate” nature is tempered by the fact that the source codes for most Beige artworks are freely available from their website. Anyone could download and make their own edition of the original pieces – Davis’ Fantasy Cutscenes, Cory Arcangel’s Mario Clouds, etc – if they learned the technique and could be bothered. This is the paradox of “open source” software when manifested in an art object: the object is reduced to the application of a technical skill because the code/ concepts already exist in the public domain (except, of course, for Davis’ code that runs 
this multicart).