Wooden game box, 2 game manuals, 2 sets of flash cards and 1 movie-DVD
Situated in the formulaic mall-scape of Bangalore, M.A.L.L. is a playful study of the social and physical architecture that constructs and frames actions in the mall. It takes a serious look at the conscious act of “timepass” and explores the multiple fictions and fantasies that the shopping mall produces.
The project takes the form of two social games that were inspired by and played in Mantri Square, Bangalore (Entry>Exit and 3 to Exit) and a short film titled Exit the Mall. As an act of detournement the games and the film are packaged in a wooden game box.
HD video, 13:37 minutes
Exit the Mall, is an impression of the enclosed, manufactured world of the shopping mall as a microcosm as well as a “product” (Keller Easterling) in the contemporary urban landscape. Drifting along, a narrator encounters serious mall-goers following their “codes of conduct”, uncovers anomalous anecdotes and recounts banal sightings, as she makes her way to the EXIT.
The film experiments with different modes of narration of space. It is constructed from documentation and testimonials from the players of the games, text from #mallonsocialmedia and other ubiquitous imagery that the world of shopping malls throw up.
The social games, lying between the active and passive “realms of experience”, create a subversive "Experience Economy” (Welcome to the Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore). The rules of the games were inspired from observable “codes” people followed to navigate the space and the hopes and dreams they had about the mall. The characters were inspired by shopkeepers and mall regulars that I had befriended. All the games were played in Mantri Square by collecting players at the time of play.
3 to Exit drives players into banal, intermediary spaces (escalators, benches, information kiosks etc.) to perform repetitive actions (taking Facebook profile pictures again and again, riding up and down the escalator etc.) in the hope of agitating the feeling of ennui and motivating them to EXIT THE MALL.
Entry > Exit plays on the fantasy that the mall might be an ideal home. Masked in a game of Scavenger Hunt the players are being helped by two female actors who take them on a tour of the mall while pretending that they live there.