localhost is a video game that sits on view ready to be played on a small computer that tells the story of a native culture stuck in perpetual conflict. The player uses a lehua flower offering to fight off consumers. Shell lei are dropped as bombs and put the player’s given three lives at risk during each battle.
As a teenager, I once had a job where I would greet tourist entering a store with different shell lei to codify purchases. The performance of culture hid an agenda that was far from the experience that I created for the visitor. I wanted to create something that mirrored this experience of masking the deceit with happiness. The objective of the game is simple for someone to perform, much like my performance of the “aloha spirit” with the previous job. This game is intended to raise questions about the role of tourism and a souvenir marketplace play in the commodification of culture and its long term effects on people, places, and things.
This piece is part of a series called A Tree, a Fern, a Flower that attempts to reclaim power through native plants by consuming byproducts of commercialism. This game is playable and displayed on a small 7 in computer in the installation to mimic the portability of a souvenir. You can also play localhost online – CLICK HERE. Press the SPACEBAR to shoot and the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to move.
Artists of Hawaii 2023
Downtown Art Center
November 3-25, 2023