Paul Catanese, Hybrid Media Artist

2005 | Online, Browser-Based Artwork.
Also exists as Physical Installation with Gameboy Advance (GBA) and Handmade Book

Misplaced Reliquary
Commissioned in 2004 by, Misplaced Reliquary is a handheld curiosity cabinet containing the holy relics collected by an eccentric curator. The relics are contained within a virtual repository taking the form of a gameboy advance ROM that can be "played" online and/or downloaded to any gameboy advance (with the correct transfer hardware). An artist's edition of five game cartridges has also been created.
About this work announced a call for commission proposals to examine the nature of “game” art in 2004. In response to that call, I offered that I would be interested in examining the meaning of game as it relates to the hunt. Thus, I spent my time in the field, walking off-trail looking, searching, hunting for lost bits of bone, fragments of fur and other forgotten animal relics which are incorporated within this piece that exists both online and as a physical installation.

The relics are contained within a virtual reliquary taking the form of a computer file native to game cartridges for Gameboy Advance (GBA) that can be viewed online within a browser window or downloaded to any actual GBA hardware. In this way, the relics can be viewed online or taken away by anyone who would like to download them, although to view them offline requires a GBA or GBA software emulator. Accompanying the relics are the field notes of the curator of the reliquary that also exist within the context of a web page.

In addition to the online aspects of this work, a physical installation also exists consisting of a GBA with the reliquary preloaded onto it as well as a leather-bound book containing the field notes of the curator of the reliquary. This book is composed of handset, letter pressed type on Rives lightweight book paper; it is case bound and the book block is covered in soft calfskin leather. Viewers are allowed to peruse both the book and the GBA freely – as the book and the interface of the GBA are inviting and familiar, viewers tend to inherently gravitate toward examining both.

View the original proposal submitted for this work.

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