Today, we spend much of our time in a digital realm oversaturated with popular culture and new technology. With a comic’s wit and a computer programmer’s savvy, artist Cory Arcangel (American, b. 1978) mines this landscape for ideas and discovery. Arcangel’s primary tools are hacked, modified, customized, or combined versions of readymade digital technology, humorously altered to “express a suspicion of technology.” He seeks to unveil the broader meaning of technology, its influence on culture, and its frequent obsolescence.
Cory Arcangel: Masters focuses on key works by Arcangel 10 years into his early yet prolific career. The selection highlights his wide-reaching practice, with an emphasis on time-based works and video. Arcangel’s playful subversion of technology is evident in projects on view here such as Super Mario Clouds (the classic video game, modified to eliminate all graphics except the scrolling background clouds) and VIZIO XVT553SV LED LCD HDTV Screen Burn (a museum wall label purposely burnt into a high-end flat screen, rendering it useless). In shining a light on our relationship to technology, Arcangel draws attention to things we take for granted, reawakening our awareness of the world around us.
Cory Arcangel: Masters continued in the Music, Film, and Audio Department on the second floor of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main Branch, where The AUDMCRS Underground Dance Music Collection of Recorded Sound, a released collection of catalogued underground dance, techno, and trance music was on view and available for listening. The two-channel video Sweet 16 was on view temporarily in Scaife Gallery 16 on the second floor of the museum.