Bach Reconfigured By Cory Arcangel At Spacex Gallery Exeter

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 04 January 2007
a twin film screen showing close up hand shots of people playing a guitar and a keyboard

The screen installation, a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould. Photo © Spacex, courtesy Cory Arcangel

Exhibition preview - Cory Arcangel: a couple thousand short films about Glen Gould at Spacex until February 23 2008.

The work of artist, musician and self confessed computer geek, Cory Arcangel, is currently showing at Exeter-based gallery Spacex.

The main focus of the exhibition is a new large screen installation artwork called a couple thousand short films about Glen Gould, which is a cleverly re-edited selection of You Tube style home videos that mimic sections of Bach’s Goldeberg variations.

Canadian pianist Gould was noted especially for his recordings of the music of Bach and Arcangel has used the clips of amateur musicians performing to devise his own improvisations around a Bach quartet.

The work is typical of the New York based artist’s approach, which seeks to fuse old and new technology and pop culture whilst championing an egalitarian sharing ethos like that found on open source file sharing websites.

a film clip of a singing duo with the right side singer blocked out by hand shadows

Corey Arcangel, Sans Simon. © Corey Arcangel

Also included in the exhibition is a selection of Arcangel's other works including I Shot Andy Warhol. The homage to Valerie Solanos, who attempted to kill Andy Warhol in 1968, is an adapted old computer cartridge shooting game called Hogan's Alley.

New characters have been added including Flavor Flav (of Rap group Public Enemy), The Pope, Colonel Sanders and Andy Warhol.

Another piece on show is his take on the career of Simon and Garfunkel with a video called Sans Simon, which attempts to block out Paul Simon from concert footage.

But Arcangel is perhaps best known for his creative hacking of obsolete computer systems and games consoles such as the Commodore 64 and Atari 800. His Nintendo game cartridge hacks include Super Mario Clouds, in which he hacked a "Mario Brothers" cartridge, erasing everything but the blue sky and clouds.

a twin film screen showing close up hand shots of people playing keyboards

The screen installation, a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould. Photo © Spacex, courtesy Cory Arcangel

He is also interested in granting access to his ways of working without any hierarchy or control and often posts in-depth instructions online about how to mimic his art and techniques.

Arcangel also works with art collective cum record label Beige; a slack assemblage of artists and programmers who work together in digital media. Beige has produced videos, web projects, albums of electronic music, as well as modified Nintendo video game cartridges. For more information see www.post-data.org/beige

Find out more about Cory Arcangel off site events at Exeter Phoenix at www.spacex.org.uk.

This is an exhibition preview - have you been to see this show? Why not let us know what you think?

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