Gameboy Flicker

Gameboy Flicker | 2023 | Gameboy ROM


Gameboy Flicker is a game created for the Gameboy that allows anyone to produce their own flicker film.

Artist Statement for Gameboy Arnulf Rainer

A performance of Peter Kubelka’s Arnulf Rainer (1960) using a homemade Gameboy cartridge called Gameboy Flicker. By playing the cartridge through either on a modified Gameboy Advance or a Super Gameboy for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, it is possible to project the Gameboy image and sound.

Peter Kubelka’s Arnulf Rainer (1960) is an elegant, algorithmically-edited film that is completely determined by its editing schema. To produce Arnulf Rainer, Kubelka used an editing chart to create a film consisting solely of black and white frames. Kubelka’s film reduces cinema to its logical boundaries: black and white frames, silence and noise. Originally, the film was commissioned by the Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer to document his practice.1 When Kubelka was unsatisfied with the footage he shot of Rainer, he made the ultimate homage – a film which would “survive the whole of film history because it is repeatable by anyone,”2 including on Gameboy. Kuelka even proclaimed he would commit the script to stone so that the film would “last 20,000 years, if it is not destroyed.”3

Using a score based on the handwritten transcription made by Huckleberry Lain from a print obtained with the assistance of Andrew Lampert and John Mhiripiri of the Anthology Film Archives, I hope to one day publicly perform Arnulf Rainer on the Gameboy.

  1. P. Adams Sitney,Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde, 1943–2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 288–9. “Arnulf Rainer, a Viennese painter and close friend of the film-maker, commissioned a portrait of himself and his work. In the course of making it, Kubelka became interested first in a film of pure colors, then one in black- and-white, sound and silence, alterations. He titled it as a dedication, and perhaps as an apology for not completing the commission for which he was paid.” []
  2. Peter Kubelka,“The Theory of Metrical Film,” inThe Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism, ed. P. Adams Sitney, 139–59 (New York: New York University Press, 1978), 159. []
  3. Ibid. []