Cory Arcangel, various works, 2019

Cory Arcangel, various works, 2019
Mixed media, dimensions variable
Installation view: Sharjah Biennial 14: ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac and Lisson Gallery


Cory Arcangel is a multimedia artist whose interest in digitals-technology-based art developed as a result of natural inclination and the advent of computers and the Internet. In his computer-generated works, which can be installations, videos, printed media or music compositions, he explores different approaches to working with technology, including hacking, coding, modifying software, manipulating video games and designing web pages.

For SB14, Arcangel has developed a suite of new works that probe preconceived notions about technology and its separation from a more conventional understanding of culture and tradition. NYARTIST (2019) is an audio track featuring an abstract pipe organ composition that plays in the Radisson Blu gym, a playful meditation on song structure, attention spans and hospitality. In his second work, Dunk (2019), a laser projects a looped animation of a basketball player dunking the ball on the outside wall of Gallery 5 from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am. This well-worn trope of aspirational success from an earlier moment has been elevated in its obsolescence as a near-universal symbol in this post-capitalist era. In his third work, Destroyed Jeans (2019), the artist uses a sequence of vertical panels on the façade of Sharjah Art Museum, a space typically reserved for promotional banners related to the institution’s programming. Instead of promotional material for an exhibition, the artist has installed appropriated images of faded and ripped denim jeans across the museum, creating a casual, worn vibe for those strolling by at street level and reflecting on the commodification of this aesthetic as a global signifier of dotcom or gig-economy labour and leisure.

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