Cory Arcangel

Cory Arcangel was born in New York in 1978, and studied at the Oberlin Music conservatory. His work deals with technology, music, and the computer information age. Much of his work can also be seen as being linked to popular culture, with references to current events and technologies. He is also the youngest person to have a solo show at the Whitney, which was his his show Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools.

I enjoy Arcangel’s pieces that deal with their sources with little separation between the creation process and the re-appropriation process. For example, Bomb Iraq takes an old computer program, but due to it’s re-casting in the current day, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Similarly Photoshop CS: 44 by 40 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient “Spectrum”, mousedown y=1520 x=4920, mouseup y=10400 x=5720 takes its title from its source, Photoshop, and doesn’t divorce the media from the creation process, which is fascinating, and earnest in many ways. It’s also really aesthetically pleasing as a work.

Out of all the pieces I viewed by Arcangel, my favorite is Punk Rock 101, which pairs Kurt Cobain’s suicide letter with Google ads (which are generated in response to text on the page they appear on). I find this piece really intense, funny, and tragic at the same time, since it makes a market out of someone’s darkest place. I think the piece says a lot about public vs. private in stardom, the availability of information, and the dark side of consumerism culture.