the Swiss Cory Arcangel - "live"

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Cory's PowerPoint presentation begins: "this is awesome"


Cory Arcangel hosted a lecture cum performance cum master class at the Swiss Institute this evening. You really had to be there to understand what it looked and sounded like, but while seated on the aisle in the eighth row, in between the laughs and the breaths swept away by his happy genius, I managed to capture a few visual stills and a few excerpts from some deathless remarks.

You'll soon be able to find the sounds, and much more, on his site (at the moment down for a rebuilding).


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the pretty one


The evening was essentially an expansion of and a commentary on the "stuff" (he said he's been asked to stop calling it "crap") Cory has currently installed at Team and Deitch. He began with an explanation of how he created his mega jam, "the coolest" iPod CD (soon to be available free everywhere) and then he played the composed piece straight through.

He devoted a good deal of time to a discussion of his special take on the Simon and Garfunkel phenomenon 1967-1984 (see his video, "Sans Simon" at Team), starting with the question, "How hot is Garfunkel?"


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Cory's DVD projection/human performance piece


"Simon sucks," reads one of his PowerPoints, so Cory thought he should try to block out the offending half of the duo - for visual aesthetic reasons (he allowed that Simon had all the musical talent).


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Cory narrating what he called a "post-MoMA" scene from his "Super Mario Movie"


Arcangel, who had graduated from Oberlin not strictly with a degree in the visual arts (no one's complaining), but one in Technology in Music and the Related Arts, pretended to explain some of the work shown at Team Gallery with the claim that while working on the complexities of his "Super Mario Movie" he had decided he absolutely had to find simpler art forms. I think his words were something like, "I'm trying to figure out the least amount of work required to make a viable work of art. Is that formalism?" Ouch.

The formal part of the evening ended with Cory performing the role of director delivering a live narration over his own creation, that same wonderful wall-projected, altered Nintendo cartridge movie created by himself and the collaborative Paper Rad and now installed at Deitch. Before starting, he told the enthusiastic audience that he felt like the guy who sits in the easy chair to introduce public television's "Masterpiece Theatre." Returning to character, Cory quickly added, "No, just kidding."

Looks like a good one, damn sorry I missed it!