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Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools

May 26–Sept 11, 2011

Cory Arcangel (b. 1978), Photoshop CS: 84 by 66 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient “Spectrum”, mousedown y=22100 x=14050, mouseup y=19700 x=1800, 2010, from the series Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations, 2008– . Chromogenic print, 84 × 66 in. (213.4 × 167.6 cm). Private collection; courtesy Team Gallery, New York, and the artist
Cory Arcangel (b. 1978), Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat the Champ), 2011. Hacked video game controllers, game consoles, cartridges, disks, and video, dimensions variable. Co-commissioned by Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Barbican Art Gallery, London. Presented at the Barbican as part of the artist’s exhibition Cory Arcangel: Beat the Champ from February 10 through May 22, 2011. Collection of the artist; Team Gallery, New York; Lisson Gallery, London; and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg and Paris. Image courtesy Barbican Art Gallery, London; photograph © Eliot Wyman

Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools, an exhibition of new work, revolves around the concept of “product demonstrations.” All of the works featured in the exhibition—ranging from video games, single channel video, kinetic sculpture, and prints, to pen plotter drawings—have been created by means of technological tools with an emphasis on the mixing and matching of both professional and amateur technologies, as well as the vernaculars these technologies encourage within culture at large. The centerpiece of the exhibition, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (2011), is a bowling alley consisting of large-scale projections of bowling games from the late 1970s to the 2000s, each hacked by the artist to throw only gutter balls. Projected in chronological order these games are a history of both video game bowling and of graphic representation in the digital medium, from pixellated abstraction to realism. The exhibition also includes works from the series Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations, consisting of unique prints showing fades between colors that have been created by using the popular image processing software Photoshop’s standard gradient tool. Another series featured in the show is CNC Wireform Demonstrations, wire sculptures randomly generated from software the artist has written and then produced by state-of-the-art industrial computer numerical control (CNC) wire-forming equipment.

Cory Arcangel’s work crosses a range of media, including computer-generated projects, performance, video, installation, music composition, sculpture, and print media. Arcangel (b. 1978) is best known for his Internet interventions, and modified video games. He has recently shown work in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, as well as in the Whitney exhibition Synthetic.

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In the News

“[Arcangel’s] potent mix of bottoms-up humor and technical wizardry has clearly struck a cultural nerve.
The New York Times

"Arcangel finds abject beauty in the way that modern technology is doomed to obsolescence."
The New Yorker

Interview with Cory Arcangel by artist Mary Heilmann 
Interview Magazine

“The Joys of Obsolescence”
New York

500 words: Cory Arcangel