Why don't the cops fight each other?
digital video, color, sound, 9’ 41”, 2021, United States of America, 2021
Created by Grayson Earle
Why don’t the cops fight each other? is a desktop documentary that chronicles the attempt by the artist to modify the behavior of virtual police officers within Grand Theft Auto V. This work also engages the modding scene that emerged around Grand Theft Auto, a community of people creating tools to modify the game’s environment, characters, and mechanics. While these mods allow for an almost infinite manipulation and transformation of the game features, one attribute seems completely immutable: the police officers in the game will never fight each other. Through an exhaustive forensic analysis of the game’s source code and interactions with mod developers, the artist illustrates the extent to which the cultural imaginary concerning the real world police is projected into the game space.
Born in California, Grayson Earle is a new media artist and educator. After graduating from the Hunter College Integrated Media Arts MFA program, he worked as a Visiting Professor at Oberlin College and the New York City College of Technology, and a part-time lecturer at Parsons and Eugene Lang at the New School. A member of The Illuminator Art Collective, Earle is the co-creator of Bail Bloc (2017), a computer program that bails people out of jail and Ai Wei Whoops! (2014), an online game that allows the player to smash Ai Weiwei’s urns. In 2020, he hacked the Hans Haacke career retrospective exhibition at the New Museum to criticize the Museum's efforts to union bust its employees. His artworks have been exhibited internationally. He is currently residing in Berlin, Germany, as a participant in the forthcoming Berlin Program for Artists.