Rules of the Game

Created 2000

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“For a threatened strike or industrial action—boys take one drink. For an actual strike or industrial action—girls take two drinks. For a missing child or teenager—all take one drink. For an ironic expression, quizzical look or raised eyebrow from the newsreader—boys remove their underpants.”

A bizarre document of an obsessive and darkly comical private performance, Rules of the Game charts the progress of an imaginary drinking game to be played in front of the TV news. The game comprises a detailed and ridiculous system of triggers and forfeits, linking drinks, undressing and sex acts to reports of events on TV. A series of panoramic images show a variety of players involved in the game, whilst adjacent texts spell out fragments of the rules.

Rules of the Game explores and exaggerates the voyeurism of television in the heart of domestic space — where distant tragedy, national dramas and media trivia run side by side with the ongoing flirtations, consumption, business and boredom of daily life. A more recent text-only version of Rules of the Game is included in Do It, an online project curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. You can read the online text only version of this here.


Hugo Glendinning / Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment. Photographs and text.