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Cory Arcangel: a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould

Sat Dec 15, 2007 00:00 - Thu Dec 13, 2007

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould
15 December 2007 - 23 February 2008

Spacex is pleased to present a solo exhibition by New York based artist Cory Arcangel.

Arcangel is an artist, musician and computer nerd well known for his reworking of media and subversive use of technology. This exhibition demonstrates how he continues his practice of tweaking old data to create new works.

The main focus of the show is a major new piece of work titled, 'a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould'. For this two screen video installation Cory Arcangel rescores the first variation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous 1741 composition the ‘Goldberg Variations’.

Given the popularity of video sharing websites such as YouTube, the web is now home to countless homemade videos of people showing off their instrumental skills. To produce 'a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould', Arcangel has spliced together thousands of clips of amateur musicians’ performances. Each note of the score jumps between individual clips of different musicians, with each screen carrying a separate melody line. Arcangel allows anonymous guitarists, keyboard players, tuba players, cats, hamsters and even a parrot to unintentionally collaborate in recreating Bach’s masterpiece. This can be seen as a continuation of the ideas presented by Gould, who famously spliced together his recordings from different takes.

Alongside this new commission, the exhibition showcases other works including 'I Shot Andy Warhol' a reprogrammed modified version of the interactive light gun game, Hogan’s Alley. In this work players are asked to shoot various versions of Andy Warhol, while avoiding the Pope, Flavor Flav, and Colonel Sanders. Another work Colors, simply plays the 1988 film ‘Colors’, one line of colour at a time, stretching the film to thirty three days. Also presented is the video performance work Sans Simon, in which the artist edits out Paul Simon from a 1960s Simon and Garfunkel concert using only his hands to cover the singer.

In all Arcangel’s works, technology and pop culture converge and are sustained by performances where the artist grants access to his research and process without any hierarchy or control.

'a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould' is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella in collaboration with Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, Spacex, Exeter and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester. Supported by Arts Council England.

Special screenings and off-site performances by Cory Arcangel during January and February - visit for more information.