ABMB: 12 Questions with Tilt Warning Customs

By - Friday, December 6th, 2013

We asked ‘Pinball Dave’, man behind Tilt Warning Customs about his latest project, collaborating with Faile and Bast pinball machines as part of their latest installment of Deluxx Fluxx. 1 – Why pinball? Really getting into a game of pinball can wash the world away and leave you in a space of pure play. The concept of all analog immersion devices enthralls me. 2 – How long typically does a machine take to build? We developed the FAILE & Bäst custom pinball machines in tandem, took a full 6 months. Artists have the machines for 3 months to paint and design, while I’m working tech behind the scenes all along. There really aren’t any shortcuts to take, labor intensive process for all involved. 3 – Your original vision for building artist series machines began with a Kickstarter project, can you tell us about that? Variations on the idea of an entirely custom pinball arcade art installation have been getting kicked around behind closed doors ever since Summer of 2009 after the Funland show at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh where we introduced proof of concept. Building a larger show in the form of full on arcade installation filled with more custom games designed by a wider array of artists was the natural answer to the question of where do we go from here? Been working on making it happen ever since coming upon the idea. 4 – Working with Faile and Bast on a project of this scope, there must be many aspects to the process, can you talk about your favorite parts? Hung out with the Faile boys in studio, went over it all, they dug into process deep, questioned everything they didn’t have an intrinsic understanding of right off. Working with the curiosity of not one person, but a crew, was a trip. Met Bäst the day I delivered the project to Brooklyn. Conferred once again about process in depth and made a bunch of parts color selections in person over his playfield the day it came back from the clear coater, and once more over the phone about a visual tinker I needed his permission to make along the way. A communique total of 3, for a project of this scale. So, to me, Faile & Bäst are chill and efficient, respectively. Finding that groove with dudes was key, and came about easily. Enjoyed that. Also notable is that we mixed and silk screened 41 colors for the backglasses, playfield plastics, and drop target stickers for these games. Seeing all that color flash in front of our eyes in the form of process over three quick weeks of print work was a fucking blast. Intense in the best of ways. Love it. 5 – Any plans on further collaboration with them post Deluxx Fluxx? When you build you must maintain, so with these machines in existence out in the wild there will always be that connection. Working with Faile & Bäst again on more games for a growing arcade install would be amazing, as would working with some of their friends on things. No plans just yet, but I’m here to work, so we’ll see. 6 – Your thoughts on Art Basel? Go. Explore. Absorb the energy. And in the future, find a means of contributing back to the scene. 7 – When you aren’t being a pinball nerd, what are you doing? I wonder about everything. Collect records and art, have a healthy appetite for the written word. 8 – Who influences you? People who recognize passion, in both themselves and in others. I can’t think of any other human quality that can open up more possibilities in this world. 9 – What’s next? Tell you when I get there. Promise. 10 – Your personal favorite pinball machine out there? Any game I haven’t played yet. I’m a fiend for the feeling of first time all over again. 11 – Random pinball fact none of us would know The standard pinball, the silver ball itself, is 1 & 1/16 inches in diameter with a weight of 2 & 7/8 ounces. 12 – If you could have your machines housed anywhere, where would that be? Tell us about those spaces. The dream. I’d like to build and maintain an entirely custom, all analog, ever growing and evolving, touring classic arcade art installation that moved from modern art museum to modern art museum around the world for the rest of time with no home but the road.

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