Pascal Grandmaison’s film is built around the juxtaposition of two opposed forms of the entertainment industry: amusement parks and personal video games. The contrast of these two forms of entertainment reflects not only on the medium, but also on the different generations and new ways of experiencing entertainment. While references can be made to the history of entertainment, the artist seemed more interested to picture a meditation on how the passage of time has corroded the disused and worn machines in amusement parks but also affects game consoles, rendering them obsolete as they are replaced by more sophisticated technology. Along with this passage, our aesthetics and tastes are also being transformed. As Kevin Muhlen, artistic director at Casino Luxembourg, remarked, “Compared to amusement parks, playstations nevertheless represent a considerable change in the way entertainment is experienced”, especially when considering the privatization of entertainment. It is questionable whether video games have “shut down” amusement parks; yet they too share the same history of disaffection as ever new equipment replaces the generations before. The constant shift of perspective cautions the viewer that history and progress are in fact based on cyclic repetitions and constitutive elements can always be replaced.
Generations of machines are yet defining generations of consumers, indicating profound social and emotional changes that affect our interaction with the others and our sense of entertainment; and while Light My Fiction unveils “a vanitas of the entertainment world” (Kevin Muhlen) where all things are continuously replaced by something new, this reflects the humans’ acceleration of mediums and history itself. However, in Light My Fiction one can also observe the passage from machine to medium, since video games are in fact new forms of expressive cultural artifacts based on ever more procedural methods of representation. It is as if the artist has traced a fictitious material history of this passage from a ritualistic form of quotidian participation to a disengagement with the others and focus on procedural and operational forms of participation.
Text by Sabin Bors, November 21, 2014