Think the Long Island Rail Road can be scary? You ain’t seen nothin’ till you’ve seen “Hallucinate,” a video-game installation that artist David Shapiro based on a bad high school LSD trip that ended up with him naked and freaked-out on the LIRR.
The game, created by John Groh and Jed Brain Pictures, lets you relive Shapiro’s teenage hell night. Mesmerizing graphics wind you through maze-like tunnels, train tracks and subways, with images of creepy men and fast-food grub and flying ketchup packets interfering all the way. Eerie, echoing music is interjected by distant voices barking things like “The Long Island Railroad” and “Where’s your clothes, son?” It’s downright frightening—but just try to walk away from it. You’ll feel like you’re back in the mall arcade circa 1983, but playing a game that’s a bit closer to home than Frogger ever was.
While you’re there, check out Shapiro’s wild tofu sculptures of serene faces. You’ll wonder if the acid ever really wore off.
CONTROL FREAK Featuring “Hallucinate,” thru Oct 16 at LiebmanMagnan, 552 W 24 St, NYC, 212-255-3225.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 19, 1999