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Free-to-Play lite

Tabor Robak (American, born 1986). Free-to-Play lite, 2014. Four-channel HD video with custom software, AP 1 from an edition of 3 and 2 APs; 120 x 50 3/8 inches (304.8 x 128 cm), running time: 60 minutes. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Sherman S. Jewett Fund, by exchange and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, 2015 (2015:7.2a-d). © 2014 Tabor Robak

© Tabor Robak

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Tabor Robak

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Tabor Robak

American, born 1986

Free-to-Play lite, 2014

four-channel HD video, custom software

Edition: artist's proof 1/2 from an edition of 3

running time: 1 hour; overall: 120 x 50 3/8 inches (304.8 x 127.95 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Sherman S. Jewett Fund, by exchange and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange, 2015

2015:7.2a-d

Currently On View

More Details

Provenance

the artist;
Team Gallery, New York;
April 16, 2015, purchased by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

Class

New media art

Work Type

Digital art (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Tabor Robak employs an arsenal of software-based tools that are traditionally used in the production of simulated worlds for smartphone apps, video games, and motion picture graphics. The results are immersive and captivating installations that explore the symbiotic relationship between humanity and technology. By adopting the visual vocabulary of video games to isolate and comment on the appeal of those very games, Robak pushes up against the increasingly tenuous separation between the digital and the real, between our lives and the smartphones that run them. Free-to-Play lite is a self-playing version of “match-three” video games, similar to popular apps such as Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga, in which the player tries to align three or more similar items on a grid in order to make them break apart and disappear. For his source imagery, Robak purchased a package of two hundred thousand commercial icons that he trimmed down to seven thousand and brought to life with code he wrote specifically for the work. With every fifteen “breaks” that occur, the grid takes on a new, random pattern; the same combinations never appear twice. Displayed on four stacked screens, the automatic gameplay produces a mesmerizing pattern of movement and images; it is a monumental homage to visual excess and distraction.

Label from For the Love of Things: Still Life, February 27–May 29, 2016

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