A Sonic Reflection

Date and time
Friday, November 8, 2013

A Sonic Reflection

While walking through Cory Arcangel: Power Points, the sounds could be likened to the cacophony of a video arcade or the audio interplay of instruments in a music school recital room before a performance. Power Points presents a vivid and at times saturating sonic portrayal of the vast auditory landscape in Arcangel’s work.

Intro by Dhcart on Mixcloud

In an attempt to illustrate the affective influence of the acoustic character of the exhibition, the following sonic reflection is presented as a dialogue between the texts written by DHC/ART educators in Movements and recorded sound excerpts from Power Points. Movements is a tool written by DHC/ART – Education that proposes themes to consider when visiting Cory Arcangel:Power Points - participatory cultures, saturation, nostalgia, and failure. The sounds in the exhibition are as central to a conceptual consideration of themes as are the visual elements.

Participatory Cultures

Cultures by Dhcart on Mixcloud

“The transparency and humour that characterize the hacking and appropriation so crucial to Arcangel’s work speaks directly to questions relating to authorship and digital literacy.  He liberally draws from others’ (artists, programmers, and YouTube users) work … Sweet 16 and Born to Run (both 2006) remind us of the implications for copyright inherent to remix culture, and Drei Klaviertucke op 11 (2009) proposes an exercise in distribution that plays with distinctions of ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultures.” - Emily Keenlyside


Saturation by Dhcart on Mixcloud

“Looking inwards, saturation is also a powerful affect, an overthrowing and disorienting emotion. Saturation places our bodies in an extreme position by charging up our senses, filling up our field of vision and making our ears and brain buzz … Arcangel’s oeuvre is a celebration of saturation: hypercoloured, rainbow-hued, neon, flashy, fluorescent, buoyant, massive, repetitive and charged are adjectives that could all describe the formal and rhetorical modes employed by the artist …”  - Daniel Fiset


Failure by Dhcart on Mixcloud

“As an artist whose work is indebted to remix culture, the do-it-yourself aesthetic and hacking, Cory Arcangel situates failure at the forefront of his creative process. …For example, Self Playing Nintendo 64 NBA Courtside 2 (2011), a game console hacked by the artist, comprises a looped video of the basketball player Shaquille O’Neal’s avatar shooting hoops and missing his target. Here, failure is an integral part of the creation process, via the practice of hacking, but it is also the theme of the work itself.” - Marie-Hélène Lemaire


Nostalgia by Dhcart on Mixcloud

“Several of the works presented in Cory Arcangel’s exhibition Power Points activate nostalgia for visitors who can relate to the 1990s American cultural references that Arcangel draws from. Once popular songs, video games, and films are transformed into clever conceptual considerations and innovative interpretations with techniques such as hacking, remixing or phasing.” - Pohanna Pyne Feinberg

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