“Twentysix Gasoline Stations in Grand Theft Auto V” by M. Earl Williams, 2014
screenshot of book spread as seen on http://www.blurb.com/b/5454103-twentysix-gasoline-stations, © M. Earl Williams
26 Gasoline Stations was a book and conceptual photography series created by Ed Ruscha in 1963. In my version I take a 4X5 view camera and point it at my T.V. screen while I explore the virtual world of Los Santos in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. This world is created to mimic the real world of California and most specifically the city of Los Angeles. As I visit this world from my couch I wait for something to catch my eye as familiar or visually interesting just like we do when we photograph in the real world. By relating back to this series of travel photographs but having the entire travel log take place in a virtual world of a video game; the work speaks to an idea of another reality in which we occupy and participate in simulated experience. When looking at a photograph the viewer receives visual stimuli of the mind that in return triggers a feeling that is most likely made up of an experience they may have had in the past. This process is not unlike the video game world that is created as an expression of an idealist reality, whose purpose is to provide you with simulated occurrences. This connection between these two mediums may be why the digital age has become so fascinated with them both.
“Twentysix Gasoline Stations” by Alan Butler, 2017
two page spread from book © Alan Butler
This work is a simulacrum of Ed Ruscha’s 1962 publication of the same name. The photographic panels in this version have been produced during drives around the city of Los Santos and Blaine County – the virtual world that makes up the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. Using out-of-the-box technology within the game, I have produced a version of the seminal photography artifact that accepts GTAV as an exploitable corporate reality, akin to the signs and images that make up our own world.