Various Self-Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat the Champ)

The centerpiece is a virtual bowling alley, where large-scale, multi-channels projections depict bowling video games from the late 1970s to the 2000s. Arcangel hacked the games so players only throw gutter balls -- turning the games into touching, weird monuments of futility.

Photoshop Gradient Demonstration

Arcangel’s large, brightly colored prints resemble color field paintings, and are overwhelmingly gorgeous. But they’re also dead simple, created just by using the gradient tool in Photoshop -- and the full titles give you instructions on exactly how to make them. (The pictured work is from a previous show at Team Gallery.)

Photoshop Gradient Demonstration

In the foreground is another one of Arcangel’s hacked video games. No matter how well you putt -- whether the barest tap or the hardest chop -- the ball goes wildly off course.

Research in Motion (Kinetic Sculpture)

You might usually find these kinetic display stands in a crappy Chinatown giftshop. But Arcangel hacked them to spin in harmony -- thus taking a junky marketing gimmick and turning it into minimalist art.

Sports Products

These retro sunglasses were once symbols of high-performance athletic gear. They’re now out of fashion and outmoded, likely to be found at gas stations. But Arcangel has turned them into monuments by re-creating them: These are actually bronze casts that have been painted to look like plastic. That’s right, bronze: A metal that’s been used for centuries to celebrate heroes.

There’s Always One at Every Party

In this “supercut," Arcangel cut together every scene where Kramer talks about his idea for a coffee-table book about coffee tables. The idea was to elevate Kramer’s joke art into high art.

Co.Design

Cory Arcangel, The Andy Warhol Of Tech, Turns Hacking Into High Art

The self-professed digital art prankster hacks his way into the Whitney Museum.

Cory Arcangel has said he thinks of his paintings as readymade sculptures, and his affinity for using just about anything at hand as an avenue for making art is one of his most endearing qualities. Since 2004, when his reprogrammed Super Mario Bros. video game caused a stir at the Whitney's annual Biennial, Arcangel has had a growing halo of buzz for the last few years, and now he's the youngest person to have a one-man show at the museum's tony Upper East Side location.

Arcangel came of age in the 1990s, which new consumer tech such as the Nintendo was becoming mainstream, and computers became commonplace in middle-class households. And his adult years saw the decline of those technologies, replaced by smaller, faster devices. So much of his art deals with pulling tech out of the dustbin — whether it's 15 year old computer-plot drawing machines or old videogames — and refashioning them, thus evoking a strange sort of nostalgia. Its no accident that people often compare him to Warhol. Arcangel uses pop tech much like Warhol used pop imagery.

On view until September 11, "Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools" pulls off a small miracle: It makes old media look beautiful, and, at its best, transforms repetitive failure and planned obsolescence into something almost monumental. Here are six of our favorite works from the exhibition.

Add New Comment

1 Comments

  • Anna K Donahue

    Because he's making recent history important this guy will be remembered. It's too easy to forget what happened yesterday. Thank you, Cory Arcangel.