Venus Pinball

Artist statement:

Jason Ditmars has created an installation called BANG Fuck Venus that consists of a 12-foot wide red neon “BANG” sign and a home-built, fuck-able, pinball machine.  Crass and sparkly, playful and absurd, the “Fuck Venus” has a transparent plastic shell in the shape of a busty woman lying on her back with her legs spread. She’s got a blinking red start button for a clit, a plunger out her ass, bumpers for tits, flipper buttons on her thighs, and a self-lubing, vibrating orifice interface!  All of this is accompanied by a soundtrack that coos, “Oh boy, you’re gonna make me cum” and “F-U-C-K spells FUCK, and I want you to fuck me harder, harder!”  Of course, as you score more points, she gives you a better lay.  Drop the C-U-M drop targets and she lubes you with an automated “Wet” ™ pump system.

This candy-carnival of machismo obscenely reveals itself through the disco soundtrack, which is hummed whimsically in the artist’s own voice.  In fact, when the machine begs, “Step right up, you look like a cute one!” – the female sounding voice is actually Ditmars’ own falsetto, performing as porn queen.  The sarcasm deprecates the “player,” laughing at his or her performance anxiety and subjugated position.

Ditmars’ intentions with the work are multi-level: from sticking a finger in the ass of the high-brow art scene, to raising an over-the-top parody of masculinity for either celebration or criticism.  It’s an unashamed, stripped-bare view of technological progress, virtuality, and artistic representation in the tradition of Manet, Duchamp, Sherman, and Philip K. Dick.  You have been offered downward mobility, now… are you gonna buy in?

April 5, 1997