Fort Paladin: America’s Army

Eddo Stern

7 February 2003

Sculpture, computers, software. 188 x 196 cm.

Fort Paladin: America’s Army is a mediaeval shaped castle, fabricated from hard drive cases and incorporating two computers.

One computer runs America’s Army, 2002—the official US Army recruitment video game, freely available online–displayed on a monitor integrated into a castle wall. The second computer runs a so-called expert system (artificial intelligence software) written to play the game by using robotic pistons to punch the keys in a keyboard located under the monitor.

The sculpture is positioned just above floor level. The work draws on the subcultures of custom computer case modifications, hardware hacking and computer game modifications. It demonstrates how war, a recurrent subject in fine art over the centuries, has become entertainment but remains as barbaric as it was in the Middle Ages.