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The Supermarket, Or The Cute Girl I Kinda Fell For Because of Her Shopping

Josh Harle

The Supermarket is a playful piece of oblique portraiture presented through my 'new media' version of a still life. 

The idea to make the art-app-game came out of a previous project, Consumables, in which I committed myself to create a photo-realistic 3D model of each meal I ate for a month. With the project I aimed to improve my modeling and reconstruction skills with some challenging subjects (read 'cut my teeth'), as well as play with the concept of 'digital heritage' and historical documentation of transient elements of the world: a hot meal is the extreme case of something that lasts only a few seconds in its prepared form before disappearing (or at least dramatically transforming).

After completing a dozen meals, I realized that I was unwittingly creating a portrait of my student life: instant noodles, coffee, take-away. The meals were a trace or synecdoche for the life behind them, where the part is used to refer to what is absent. The effect was reminiscent of the discarded rubbish, graffiti, and detritus used in computer game environments to strongly evoke a sense of previous inhabitants. This process of letting these marks and traces tell a story feels like a kind of archaeology.


Josh Harle, The Supermarket, Or The Cute Girl I Kinda Fell For Because of Her Shopping, 2014, digital video, audio, 4:24 min