Cory Arcangel (b.1978) was born in Buffalo, New York and lives and works in Brooklyn. He received a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2000 where he studied classical guitar and the technology of music. Arcangel works with a range of mediums including video games, music, websites and software. Concerned with media and technology, his work explores the nature of cultural production and consumption. He is widely recognised as one of the most important exponents of tech-based art.
Some of his best known works include his Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations, large, colorful inkjet on laminate panels produced using Photoshop’s gradient tool; Super Mario Clouds (2002-), a video piece where the famous Nintendo game has been modified to leave only the iconic backdrop of blue sky and clouds, and Drei Klavierstücke op.11 (2009), a compilation of Youtube clips of cats playing a version of Arnold Schönberg’s 1909 musical composition of the same name.
Arcangel’s artistic practice of appropriation is openly playful and revolves around transformation and manipulation. Throughout his career he has remained faithful to open source code by making his work and production methods available online. This perpetuates a cycle of appropriation and in turn questions the value of the art object.
In the words of Petra Heck, curator at the Netherlands Media Art Institute, Cory Arcangel “hacks, manipulates and reuses various technological applications, including video games, web software, film and print media. In doing so he comments on digital media technologies and cultures while at the same time continuing to seek the possibilities that present themselves on the cutting edge of humour, theory and technological shortcomings. His interest in technology spans from the vernacular or non-expert to the conscious disrupting of digital techniques. Using techniques common to conceptual art and performance, Arcangel's work often comments on the relationship between these two."
Arcangel has also produced a number of online only virtual shows including: Cory Arcangel for New Jersey (2010), The AUDMCRS Underground Dance Music Collection of Recorded Sound (2013 for the New Museum), Acknowledgement, Circulation, Obscurity, System Ambience (2014 for Rhizome).