Hear Me Talk About Cars, And Playing Old Video Games With Real Cars

I’m excited to say that today is the opening of my installation at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: an old (and now pixelated) Lancia that I’ve rigged up to play the old video game Pole Position on actual 1982 hardware, on a huge screen in an amphitheater. And before that, I’ll be talking about cars, and you can watch that online! How bad could it be?

I’m actually quite pleased with how the installation itself turned out. The company that helped me make the old, beaten Lancia look like a real-life video game sprite did a a great job making my sketches real, and I’ve been testing the car-as-controller, and everything seems to work.


Getting the car all rigged up wasn’t totally free of issues, as my hope of hiding the steering sensor wires in the column were dashed when I found that doing so just ended up cutting wires left and right. I reworked it so the wires are free behind the wheel, and while it’s not quite as unobtrusive as I was hoping, you don’t really notice them and I hope it’ll be okay.

I still haven’t seen the system running on the full-sized, 20+ foot-tall screen, or heard the square-wave music and sound effects through the huge speakers, and that’s really going to make it. I can’t wait. Pixels the size of bricks! You’ll be immersed in a lo-fi driving wonderland.


My talk before we go out to drink cocktails and play giant old racing games is more about cars in general. It’s called Cars are Ridiculous; Also, I Love Them and I hope it’ll be tolerable. We’ll see. Maybe there’ll be a riot. Either way, if you want to watch a livestream, it starts at 7 PM EDT, and I’d be delighted to have you.


Crap, I better start getting ready.

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