Cory Arcangel is a Brooklyn, New York post-conceptual artist. He is well known for using different kinds of media in the work, such as drawing, music, video, performance art, and video game modifications. Arcangel often uses the artistic strategy of appropriation, creatively re-using existing materials such as dancing stands, Photoshop gradients and YouTube videos to create new works of art. He explores the relationship between digital technology and pop culture from his work.
Title of the artwork: Super Mario Clouds
Medium: Handmade hacked Super Mario Clouds Brothers cartridge and Nintendo NES video game system
Dimensions: Dimensions variable
Edition information: 2/5
Super Mario Clouds is based on the Super Mario game for Nintendo’s NES game console. Cory Arcangel hacked the game and modified it so that all that remains of the game are the white clouds on a blue sky. Gone is the main character, Super Mario, who the player had to guide through a labyrinth in the original jump and run game, just like the obstacles, landscapes and opponents that lend the game its narrative structure. Those people who are familiar with the game can imagine them on the empty background; everyone else will just see the cartoon like display of a sky. The work was created on the basis of a manipulation of the hardware and software. Cory Archangel had to open the cartridge, on which the game was stored, and replace the Nintendo graphics chip with a chip on which he had burned a program he had written himself. He is a member of the Beige Programming Ensemble who have focused their artistic programmed on the hacking ethic of manipulating existing technology, thereby taking the modification of legacy technology to absurd extremes: the group have published computer programs pressed on records and organize an annual competition for cassette disk jockeys.
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