aMBUSH Gallery and Central Park are presented ARCADIA, a fully immersive retro gaming experience punctuated by contemporary art, Japanese cult cinema and all the neon lights you could need.
Before the concept of multiplayer gaming was reduced to a network of anonymous players spread across the world, known only by a handle and an avatar, illuminated in their solitude by the blue light that emanates from their television screens and computers at home, there were video arcades. A beacon of electronic sound effects, neon light and silver coins, popcorn and Slurpees and acid-washed teenagers, the arcade buzzes in our memories with the guilty pleasures of 1980s nostalgia, and with Arcadia, aMBUSH Gallery and Central Park, The Living Mall brought that neon indulgence surging right into the middle of contemporary Sydney.
Presented as a featured event of Art & About 2015, Arcadia launched on 18 September and continued for three weeks of retro gaming brought to modern life through artistic collaboration with international graffiti monster Sofles, who blasted aMBUSH Gallery from floor to ceiling with technicolour murals, and James Jirat Patradoon, whose curated line-up of urban contemporary artists converted the pinball machines and ping-pong tables into customised, interactive art installations. World-renowned videographer Selina Miles documented Sofles’ transformation of the gallery and her work played as part of a video installation throughout Arcadia’s duration.
Gallery Three, located within aMBUSH Gallery’s Chippendale space, became a mini cinema dedicated to the screening of Japanese cult favourite anime and horror films, and visitors were invited to bring along their own vinyl records and play as Arcadia’s DJ on the customised turntables. There was many more opportunities for play throughout The Living Mall and in the outdoor precinct as part of Game On at Arcadia, Chippendale Central Park’s spin-off event.
Sofles, Selina Miles, James Jirat-Patradoon, Georgia Hill, Chris Yee, Gerald Leung