Firelight from Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas, 2006
Archival pigment print
30 × 40 in.
Courtesy of the artist.
This tranquil image, with its hazy blooms of color, was created within a space of extreme aggression. While watching her brothers play video games such as Grand Theft Auto, which is notoriously violent and misogynistic, Joan Pamboukes was struck by the intense color and beauty of the digital environment of the game. She set up a film camera in front of the tv screen, and, to compose her shots, she directed players to focus on specific background elements. The sublime beauty Pamboukes creates from these games is a sharp contrast to the simulations of violence taking place within them.