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PRINT January 2007

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Space Invader

WE’VE PLAYED this game already. From the cold war to the so-called war on terror, geopolitical tactics are sold to the public as science fictions. Reagan’s Star Wars missile-defense program left behind a mythology of evil empire that persists today, even if our adversaries are no longer clear-cut targets but Bush’s “shadowy networks.” Space Invader, the notorious Paris-based artist, engages in another kind of global gambit—one modeled on the eponymous 1978 video game of alien invasion. For eight years, Invader has delivered a sly send-up of both anachronistic “us-versus-them” scenarios and newly networked, decentralized modes of war and art.

Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, you can catch a glimpse of Invader’s ludic bid for world takeover. About halfway across, a small grid of ceramic tiles in hypersaturated tones of red, black, and turquoise (NY_73, 2003) appears, affixed to a beam that

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