This project was about picking an object which was either extremely important to us, or of no use to us anymore; yet we still keep it. We had to make an abstract structure out of it.
My two objects were the hamster keychain I treasured because it reminded me of my first (but dead now) hamster Hammy, while the other object was my first arcade card from my teen years, but has expired eons ago.
I picked the arcade card.
The arcade card was worth a ton of memories for me. It was my first “key” to the gateway of adventures- the arcade world. I was not allowed to visit arcades to play as a child because my parents said it was a waste of time and money. I grew rebellious as a teenager and decided ‘hey I really want to try playing at the arcade’ and so I went to get my first card on my birthday when I was 14. To me, it was like a whole new world, where a gateway into a wonderland opened for me. I imagined extremely high-tech flying thingies everywhere, and electricity fizzling in the air. Neon lights flashed, and the sound of speeding vehicles resounded throughout the air.
I wanted to establish a concept whereby arcade times were the golden era in my life, where I could enjoy and have real fun. However, as times go by, I grow older, and I slowly lose time and interest in arcades. I could probably easily access arcades when I go to shopping malls now, but I choose to go eat or walk around rather than play at arcades. Yet, I remember the fun times I had at the arcade.
I chose my medium for this project to be Rusted metal.
The metal symbolizes the strength, tenacity and power it has, helping me to win my games and plow through any difficulties (stress, sadness, etc). However, as I stop playing at the arcade, the things left untouched (my arcade gaming experience) start to rust and melt. Nevertheless, I retained a gold-ish tint because despite not being in contact with gaming much anymore, I still remember the fun times I had- and miss it.
HOW TO RUST METAL 101:
I will post it on another post under research. Otherwise it will become way too long.
MY FIRST DRAFT:
I tried to make an arcade box. Y’know those old arcade boxes with Donkey Kong or Pacman? I was trying to re-establish that.
My first idea was to create a ‘shelf’ which represents the levels you have in games. The physical levels where you can jump up and down on. I used brass strips for that.
Then, I wanted to put a different arcade character on each floor to represent all the games I’ve played, including Space-Invader and Mario.
But it was too difficult and practically impossible with the materials I had on hand to make the characters out of nails and in small scale.
No one did it before online either. So research was basically for naught.
Hence, I decided to settle on establishing PACMAN.
As you can see, it didn’t really turn out well. It practically failed. Boo.
So I re-explored my ideas and tried to remember what I usually thought about as a kid.
Then, I remembered how I always had flavour with flying animals; about how I could ride on them and fly everywhere and rescue civilians from burning buildings, or something.
So, I decided to go with the idea of a flying bird; a Golden Bird. It would be the main transport to bring me everywhere in the arcade world.
I made it into a trophy too, to represent my victories in arcade gaming which inspired me to love Arcades more. A golden trophy! A GOLDEN BIRD TROPHY!
I used my remaining materials to make a Golden Bird out of rusted nails, establishing it’s wings with rusted paperclips and hot glue for a melting effect (and it sticks the metal together).
My colours were black, gold and brown, which is the idea of rust and decay, yet retaining its significance in my life.
Peter could not see what the bird meant. He was unimpressed. Boohoo. It was too unrepresentative in his opinion. Then, I fished out my Pacman structure and showed it to him. Then he became mild impressed.
He said that the Pacman structure represented how I try so hard to be perfect, yet I failed and that’s the success of it- it symbolized the decay of my work. The arcade box tries so hard to stay relevant and perfect, yet it rots and is ugly instead. Yet, it is more representative of the idea I was trying to put forth.
On the other hand, I restarted my project, and came out with something that was supposedly perfectly made- yet it was a failure because it was unrepresentative. It is also symbolism of the decay and failure of arcade gaming in staying in my life.
I didn’t understand until a few days later what he was trying to say.
But here you go! My Project of Decay.