Anne-Marie Schleiner, Brody Condon, Joan Leandre


Pacifistic "Spray paints" for the game "Counter-Strike"




"Velvet Strike" was created in response to the belligerent, vindictive atmosphere in the USA in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. The work is a manipulation of "Counterstrike", an immensely popular game at the time, in which players fight each other with paramilitary characters over a network. The close combat that was the hallmark of the game bore more than a cursory, visual similarity to the wars that were waged, first on Afghanistan then on Iraq, in response to the attacks, and the first "Counterstrike" mods featuring Osama Bin Laden characters and Middle East scenarios soon appeared. "Velvet Strike" reacted to these crude, propagandist modifications with its own pacifist "sprays" submitted through the Internet by gamers from all over the world. "Sprays" are little graphics that similar to graffiti tags you can spray on walls in the various "Counterstrike" scenarios. The sprays range from simple "Make Love Not War" messages to graphics reminiscent of political agitations à la John Heartfield. They show that even the apparently military logic of games such as "Counterstrike" is not invulnerable to subversive reworkings.
(Tilman Baumgärtel)

Artists / Authors


United States, 2001


» http://www.opensorce…rike/screenshots.html


, Apr 13, 2004