650 Polygon John Carmac

Brody Condon

20 December 2004

Brody Condon / 2004 / USA / Courtesy of Tom Powell and Virgil de Voldere Gallery, New York

Brody Condon’s likeness of influential game engine programmer and id Software co-founder John Carmack, modeled after an appropriated low-polygon portrait from “Quake III,” was constructed by positioning hundreds of inket decals on a polyurethane base. Designed with an intricacy reminiscent of Oliver Herring’s photo-sculptures, Condon’s avatar renders the rough-edged geometries of digital realms in meatspace perspective. The blurring of real world and game world seen in “650 Polygon John Carmack” can be found throughout Condon’s work, such as “Hospital,” a fake screenshot where videogame health packs have been inserted into a photograph of a wheelchair-lined hallway, or “Untitled War,” a performance in which fully-armored combatants, in garb from different historical periods, engaged in a mock deathmatch at Los Angeles’ Machine Gallery while live video feeds provided viewers next door with a first-person-shooter’s-eye-view of the action.