(Hohum)...it's gonna be a looong game - 14min excerpt - channels 1-3
A multi-channel video installation that examines the misogynistic gameplay of Cover Girl Strip Poker, a 1991 MS-DOS computer game, (Hohum)...it's gonna be a looong game deconstructs the crude embodiments of male desire which integrates the objectification of the female body with disfiguring early computerized graphics and interactivity. Cover Girl Strip Poker provides eight sexualized female opponents with whom to play, all signified by a first name either conventionally American or tantalizingly exotic in nature. In my gameplay, I fight with sexist constructs, engaging in the typically male-dominated field of poker. I subscribe to the notion that women can't and don't play poker well, and I haphazardly fumble through the hands as the female object of that round eggs me on with a selection of a phrases and leading questions.
I split the original gameplay screen into two sections, one depicting only the sets of cards and the pot of money. The other screen shows only the female object, an excessively pixelated still image of a woman in a costume (in this case, Jane, who dresses as Santa Claus) as well as the slow scrolling window of her commentary and my monetary bets. The separation and relocation of these elements counteracts the relationship between the betting and the outcome, between my actions and the their consequences within my hand. I can't be judged for my skill move by move, and the female rendering's male-devised flirtations and opinions are nullified. It becomes a dialogue between she and I, exploring gender roles in a more complex way as she refers to me as "handsome," or "not a man at all." In the third screen of each respective game, a burlesque is enacted. In typical gameplay, when the female object has been beaten in a round, the screen dissolves from the main window and into a cartoonish theatre, on the stage of which a series of four or five pictures progress in a series to depict the removal or addition of an article of clothing, depending on if she has won or lost that hand. Each of these interludes throughout the entirety of the gameplay have been edited together to choreograph a burlesque. Now the woman performs continuously both dressing and disrobing in an act of control, a more artistic artform of a woman's design.
Intended to be installed flatly into the surface of a poker table, the viewers--distinctively that and not players--can sit and look down individually and privately at the small screens, as if at their own intangible hands of poker, or at a peep show mutoscope. Around the table are the separated elements, hands disconnected from their bets and female representations separated from their objectifications, reclaiming the history of female depiction from its function as male entertainment.