Cory Arcangel, a pioneer of technology-based art, takes over Times Square every midnight in March with Another Romp Thru the IP (Times Square Edit). Arcangel revisits his 2009 improvisation made on a Sandin Image Processor (IP), an analog computer invented in the 1970s by graphic artist Dan Sandin. Using this precursor to the digital video revolution, Arcangel creates a vibrant throwback to technology of a bygone era across the iconic landscape of Times Square.
“In our era of phones, screens, Zooms, etc., I wondered what Times Square — the mountain top of today’s media landscape! — would look like if we rewound about 50 years and filled it with imagery made on an artist-built tool from the 70s — the Sandin Image Processor. Where would we end up? Could we tell the difference?”— Cory Arcangel
Embodying Arcangel’s signature approach to art-making, Another Romp Thru the IP manipulates analog computer technologies and raw data into visuals that are at once striking and nostalgic. Created during a residency at Alfred State Institute for Electronic Arts (IEA), Arcangel’s original improvisation in this series appeared in his 2011 solo exhibition, Pro Tools, at the Whitney Museum. The title of the work references Five Minute Romp Through the IP, a 1973 video made by Sandin in which he explains the possibilities of the instrument. An advocate of education, Sandin freely published schematics and other documentation of the Sandin Image Processor.
Arcangel’s work often centers on video games and software for their ability to rapidly formulate new communities and traditions and, equally, their speed of obsolescence. Reconfiguring web design and hacking as artistic practice, Arcangel also remains faithful to open source culture and makes his work and methods available online, thus superimposing a perpetual question-mark as to the value of the art object.
Another Romp Thru the IP (Times Square Edit) March 1–31, 2022 | 11:57pm – midnight
About the artist
Cory Arcangel is a contemporary American multimedia artist. Best known for his post-Internet video art that conflates digital schema and contemporary culture, his work explores nostalgia and the shifting boundaries of online space. It was in 1996, while studying classical guitar at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, that he first had a high-speed Internet connection – inspiring him to major in music technology and start learning to code. Both music and coding remain his key tools for interrogating the stated purpose of software and gadgets. Outcomes can be surprising, funny and poignant, whether in the final form of installation, video, printed media or music composition, in the gallery or on the world wide web.
His fame and critical acclaim have only grown over the course of his career, highlighted by exhibitions like Topline, CC Foundation (2019), All the small things, Reykjavik Art Museum (2015), Pro Tools, Whitney Museum (2011), Beat the Champ, Barbican Art Centre (2011), The Sharper Image Moca Miami (2010), and Nerdzone Version 1 at Migros Museum (2005).