Cory Arcangel Clouds and Nipod Cory Arcangel Clouds and Nipod
Cory Arcangel: Clouds and Nipod, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg, 2005
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Overview

The aesthetics of Cory Archangel's works are based on the computer technology of the 1970s and 1980s. 

'Retro video games are what computers think about when we're not around' (Clive Thompson). We are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of the young Brooklyn-based artist Cory Arcangel. Arcangel, born 1978 in Buffalo (NY), has made a name for himself in the last year in particular through his innovative performances, videos and computer-generated projections. Seldom has an artist of the youngest generation received such concentrated attention from renowned cultural institutions. Last year, for example, works by Arcangel were shown at the Museum of Modern Art New York, London's Royal Academy of Art, the Liverpool Biennial, the Whitney Museum of Art New York and the Guggenheim Museum New York. This year the Migros Museum in Zurich is devoting a solo exhibition to him. The aesthetics of Cory Archangel's works are based on the computer technology of the 1970s and 1980s. For example, Arcangel uses historical Nintendo Entertainment Systems and manipulates their software. In Salzburg we will show his projection...

"Retro video games are what computers think about when we're not around" (Clive Thompson).

We are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of the young Brooklyn-based artist Cory Arcangel. Arcangel, born 1978 in Buffalo (NY), has made a name for himself in the last year in particular through his innovative performances, videos and computer-generated projections.

Seldom has an artist of the youngest generation received such concentrated attention from renowned cultural institutions. Last year, for example, works by Arcangel were shown at the Museum of Modern Art New York, London's Royal Academy of Art, the Liverpool Biennial, the Whitney Museum of Art New York and the Guggenheim Museum New York. This year the Migros Museum in Zurich is devoting a solo exhibition to him.

The aesthetics of Cory Archangel's works are based on the computer technology of the 1970s and 1980s. For example, Arcangel uses historical Nintendo Entertainment Systems and manipulates their software. In Salzburg we will show his projection "Clouds" and the work "Nipod".

"Clouds" is based on the famous video game Super Mario Bros. in whose hacked version all graphics have been erased, retaining only the iconic clouds, which now float back and forth in their coarse pixelation against a bright blue background. In the work "Nipod", Apple's Ipod MP3 player, now an icon and an indispensable part of everyday life, is simulated by a historical entertainment system from Nintendo. Here too, the code of an old generation video game has been cracked and transformed into a rudimentary Ipod whose silhouette can be seen on a monitor. "Nipod" is also an interactive installation, as the viewer can change individual sounds of the stored music using the old control console of the Nintendo device.

When asked why Arcangel works with historical computer technology, he answered in an interview last year:

"Using a limited amount of computing resources provides a few positive ones. One is that older computers can be found for a few dollars at thrift stores. Two, is that since they are much simpler than today's computing machines, they can be programmed on the machine code level wich means that as an artist your code is directly affecting the hardware on the machine. This is important because it means when a pixel appears on the screen, the artist has to put it there, and not some operation systems written by 1000 programmers in Silicon Valley. It means you can really understand the aesthetic of the machine. It is a bit more hands on. Third, is that old machines are never updated, so they never change! A Commodore 64 today will be exactly the same 30 Years from now. You won't have to download any plugins to run it.

Rarely has software and hardware been so unbiasedly understood as raw artistic material as in the work of Cory Arcangel. Arcangel's relationship to old computer technologies involves the rejection of unconditional participation in consumer society, plays with the collective visual treasure of a generation that first grew up with home computers and humorously reflects the tradition of minimalist art and the legacy of the Readymades.

Installation Views

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