On the occasion of the gift of a video installation by American artist Cory Arcangel to the collection of the Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof
presents the artists first solo exhibition in Berlin. Cory Arcangel, born 1978 and based in New York City, deals with the myths and practices of Internet culture, pop music and experimental music. He uses and modifies existing computer programs and develops his own programs for processing visual and sound material. He is interested in the latest trends in the entertainment industry and the everyday use of the Internet, and also in pondering how technologies and codes rapidly become obsolete. His works constantly metamorphose in new constellations and contexts: depending on the venue and the situation, he combines older and newer video works with sculptural pieces, and the material for a music performance can also turn up in altered form in a video installation or an Internet project.
At the heart of the exhibition is the double projection a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould from 2007; the video installation is a recent gift to the Nationalgalerie from the Outset Contemporary Art Fund. Composed from more than 1100 discrete images that Cory Arcangel took from the Internet and processed with self-designed software, the video version of Variation No. 1 from the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach is an astounding experience. Images of various persons playing one note of the piece on different instruments flash by at breathtaking speed. Cutting and pasting excerpts from different takes an option already used by pianist Glenn Gould in his recordings is here humorously taken to an absurd extreme.
Along with two other video works one with material from YouTube films edited into an Arnold Schönberg music video, the other subjecting a Jimi Hendrix music video to a commercial Auto-Tune program the exhibition also includes kinetic sculptures and prints that owe their existence to the artistic use of simple shelving systems and discarded printers and desktop scanners in standard formats. For Composition #7, an interactive piece, the artist replaced the rock soundtrack in the computer game Frets on Fire with the minimalist piece Composition 1960 (#7) by La Monte Young.
Cory Arcangel is interested in the rules and constraints of the technologies that surround us and shape our lives, and reconnoiters the freedoms inside these systems freedoms he plays with and opens up to every one of us in his Web projects, performances and exhibitions: Here Comes Everybody!