Viscous Fairy Grottoes: Arcades Project
12 Dec 2020–17 Jan 2021
An alternate reality gameworld across digital .space and the physical space of soft/WALL/studs
With artist-gamemasters Chong Lii and Niklas Büscher, Xafiér Yap, Gigi Koh and Aneesha Shetty, Johann Yamin, and Shawn Chua.
Explore gameworld(s) online here.
Examine physical extrusions at soft/WALL/studs,
No. 11, Lorong 21A Geylang, #08-00,
Entry by registration only, details below. Registration link: https://forms.gle/qHzicH8zfVMhqj9n8
Viscous Fairy Grottoes: Arcades Project is an alternate reality gameworld with artists as gamemasters, where ludic infrastructures (dys)function as platforms for gamic actions. Distending notions of the game, it runs on indeterminate goals, poor graphics, and bad gameplay, where objects glitch through walls or players use cheatcodes to progress. It is a lascivious intermix of pirate acts, queered avatar creation, multiplayer countervisualities, and invocations of dream-seeing worlds. Extending across online slimescapes and physical extrusions at soft/WALL/studs, Arcades envisions gaming as method of organising: As playable nationalisms proliferate, instances of resistance refract through gameful worldbuilding across online spheres, alongside recent pivots toward simulation gaming for community and comfort under pandemic time.
Taking facetiously from Walter Benjamin’s unfinished magnum opus, The Arcades Project, this gameworld corrupts Benjamin’s readings of the 19th century shopping arcade as site of capitalist modernity for Europe, described as “fairy grottoes” radiating across Paris. Instead, interest lies in the site of the video game arcade, sprouting across East and Southeast Asia from the 1970s and 80s. With gaming arcades banned in Singapore from 1983 until the early 90s as a corruptive influence and symbol of Western decadence, the video game serves as a surface of discursive tension, an active mechanism, a corrupted save file lying in wait. Co-locating media archaeologies, digital folklore, and notions of contemporary agency for players and non-players alike, Arcades burrows through rabbit holes, opening up glitchy fairy portals to broken, oozing worlds.
Thursdays–Sundays, 6pm–11pm at soft/WALL/studs
(Closed 24–25 Dec and 31 Dec 2020–1 Jan 2021)
Registration link: https://forms.gle/qHzicH8zfVMhqj9n8
Register to roam physical extrusions at the site of soft/WALL/studs in your own time. Only 5 people will be permitted entry into the space at once. It is recommended to first explore the online gameworld(s).
Timings and registration details released on our Discord server
Discord server invite: [Link is embedded within the Arcades website. Explore to find it!]
Additional sidequests and activations at the site of soft/WALL/studs in small, closed groups.
Drop us an email for visits or private sessions beyond the listed dates and times.
A note on accessibility:
soft/WALL/studs is unfortunately only partially wheelchair-accessible. We are located about 400 metres from Aljunied MRT station, with one bus stop close by. The building entrance has an asphalt slope but is not built to code, with an elevator from street level to our main room. There is a 90-degree turn at our door. Our library room has a narrow inaccessible doorway, and the washroom (gender neutral) has a squatting toilet. Do get in touch with us if you need directions.
Viscous Fairy Grottoes: Arcades Project is an initiative under soft/WALL/studs’ Beyond Repair, part of National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum’s Proposals for Novel Ways of Being.