Aram Bartholl

21 December 2005

Aram Bartholl / 2005 / Germany

Aram Bartholl’s “FPS” is a pair of do-it-yourself paper cut-out glasses that include an outstretched, gun-wielding arm in each frame, overlaying the wearer’s visual field with the screen image from a “first-person shooter” game, such as “Halo” or “Half-Life.” Discussing his work, Bartholl notes the many symbolic functions of the object, and how it complicates the lines between the physical world and the digital space of game play. He points out the disconnect between the participant’s body and the virtual weapon in front of him, and comments on the popular discourse surrounding gaming and violence. “Handle with care!” the instructions warn, “Extensive use might cause unpredictable behavior.”