Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lecture Review-Cory Archangel

Unfortunately my work and school schedules did not allow me to attend the lectures that were required for class so I watched the following lecture on YouTube .
Cory Arcangel
            Cory Archangel’s lecture was a bit confusing for the technologically challenged, but his artwork is light, easy and a little hilarious. Archangel is described as a computer artist concerned with technologies relationship to culture. However he says he not a “hacktivist,” meaning that he doesn’t do his art for any type of political activism, Archangel claims that he “Just doesn’t know anything else” and that he finds significance in pop culture. The first piece he talked about was worked on with his friend, Paul B. Davis, with whom he started Beige Records. They gathered old Atari computers, took them apart and reprogrammed them to make a record. The record was composed of scratch tones; lock grooves (infinite repeating loops), a music track and data. The record was intended for use by DJ’s.
            Archangel spoke next about “Data Diaries” a project inspired by his school days, when he hacked into school computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory), disassembled and reassembled the code to cause computers to crash when students open their emails. “Data Diaries” is made up of 31 QuickTime videos comprised of data from Archangel’s RAM for the period of a month. The videos are basically a series of random sound and imaging complete with crazy glitches from when the computer crashed and/or erased memory. Although Archangel says his work has no real purpose, this could represent the mundane existence of our everyday lives.
            Archangel took the old Nintendo game, Hogan’s Alley and changed it by removing the graphic and program chip and soldering in new ones to create what he calls “I Shot Andy Warhol.” The characters he programmed in are The Pope, Flavor Flav and Coloniel Sanders, along with Andy Warhol of course. He simply does these things to amuse himself and others. The other Nintendo hack he did was with the game Super Mario Bros. Archangel erased the program code, leaving only the clouds to scroll forever on the screen.
            Archangel also had a project involving page scaring from the internet called “Pizza Party.” He scraped code from Dominoes Pizza website, reformatted it and threw it back to the Dominoes server basically making a pizza order online directly to the website.
            Although understanding how Archangel completes his works could be very confusing to some, enjoying them is a task easily accomplished as is making the art, according to the artist.
Does your work have any significant message or are you just having fun, messing around as you say? And if not, are you still considered an artist?
What were the reasons behind choosing the Pope, Flavor Flav and Coloniel sanders for the “I Shot Andy Warhol” game?

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