Cory Arcangel is a thirty-something year old Brooklyn artist who works in a variety of mediums—film, video, photography, print and the internet. He is primarily a “digital artist.” His training came from Oberlin College where he received a degree in Technology in Music and the Related Arts. He focuses on internet based performance art and sometimes stand-alone art shown with music that he has created. He likes to collaborate with other artists and has an impressive resume of exhibitions including shows at MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum.
Wikipedia states that “His work is concerned with the relationship between technology and culture, and with media appropriation.” He is mainly known for his video game appropriations. For instance, he took a Mario game cartridge and erased all but the clouds to make “Super Mario Clouds.”
I must admit that I missed the entire video game revolution and only once played a Mario racing game with my great nieces and nephew. Needless to say, they soundly beat me! I can’t relate as well to Cory’s work because I have not been submerged in the video game culture, so I believe my appreciation for the meaning may be somewhat stunted– it’s a stretch for me to fully understand how the work makes a statement about technology and culture.
However, what I do see is that Cory melds different technologies together so that the viewer has simultaneous experiences of dissimilar mediums—a Nintendo game screen in motion while modern music that does not relate to the image is heard. For example, his u-tube video “Adult Contemporary/Continual Partial Awareness” is a video game of bowling with contemporary music inserted into the game. It was interesting to watch because of the contrast between the music and the images—the images being simple grapics in motion with bright primary colors while the music was a compilation of several songs. The video is entertaining since the images and music are so different from one another (see image above).
Some of his work is dubbed “video painting” as it is excerpted from his video work and made into a still photo. One of his video works shows Simon and Garfunkel with Cory’s hand covering Simon. HMMM? He also has some print work that is more traditional.
I found researching this artist to be interesting and challenging at the same time!