View Mobile Site

COOL HUNTING

show nav
View Desktop Site

COOL HUNTING

Cadillac Charged Branding

A showcase of the visionary technology and design driving innovation throughout all aspects of our culture and creating the next generation of luxury, which is smarter, personalized and free of compromise.

Charged: Moving Art Forward with Bryce Wolkowitz
Charged: Five Next-Gen Digital Cameras
I'm a cadillac charged article.

Charged:
Cory Arcangel's Art and Apparel

An interview with the artist who teamed up with the computer club to discover rare Andy Warhol digital works

by CH Contributor in Culture on 11 June 2014

by Michael Slenske

In the early 2000s, Buffalo-born artist Cory Arcangel hacked the Hogan’s Alley video game and replaced the Nintendo gunslingers with silhouettes of Andy Warhol, Colonel Sanders, Flavor Flav and the Pope for a cheeky piece he called "I Shot Andy Warhol." Arcangel tells CH, “I think that was the first time I did something that directly evoked [Warhol's] image. For a lot of artists of my generation he is a constant influence because he’s omnipresent.”

AndyWarholAmiga1.jpg

In a landmark feat of tech-sleuthing (helped along by the Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club), Arcangel unearthed and restored the digital artworks that Warhol created in 1985 using Commodore’s Amiga software. After three years, the collaborative unveiled the findings last month, which included self-portraits, those of Debbie Harry and Marilyn Monroe, and his iconic Campbell’s Soup cans, attracting headlines around the globe. “They are digital born material, so they don’t really exist. It’s just a bunch of numbers on disks,” says Arcangel. “For the Warhol Museum to allow them to be downloaded from their website fulfilled all of my expectations. They went around the world in a day and that was exactly everything I could have hoped could have happened.”

During that same time, Arcangel was fulfilling some other, though arguably Warholian, desires in the form of a product-licensing agreement with Bravado, makers of gear for the likes of Drake and Katy Perry. The new line, dubbed Arcangel Surfware, features everything from gradient printed bedding to hoodies. This month, Arcangel showed the new wares alongside a suite of newer fine art works (sculptures, drawings, computer animations) in a pop-up exhibition titled, "You Only Live Once," at the business conference room of the Holiday Inn in SoHo, NYC. Though that idea might sound like a concept put-on for the youngest artist to ever command a floor at the Whitney Museum of American Art, for Arcangel (an avowed TGIF and Applebee’s enthusiast) the show was as much about looking forward as it was a return to his roots. “It was absolutely the perfect space for the work,” he says. We recently caught up with Arcangel to discuss what inspires his process of creation and discovery and what's next.

AndyWarholAmiga2.jpg
Where did the Warhol project begin?

I’d been keeping an informal folder of Warhol’s research in both video and early digital stuff for a long time and when I did a site visit to Pittsburgh in early 2011 I knew that I wanted to follow-up on some of the things that I’d read about or seen, specifically the YouTube video of the 1985 Lincoln Center Amiga launch. It also had a lot to do with my own personal research on Warhol, which led me to follow-up with the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh on some of those items.

Once you got to Pittsburgh, how did things unfold?

The project took three years from the initial meeting with the Warhol Museum [in 2011]. I met with Matt Warboken, the museum's archivist, and he explained that they did have some Amiga disks of Andy’s and they were willing to let me propose a preservation timeline. I got in touch with the Carnegie Mellon Computer Club, and they just happened to be the world’s experts in obsolete computers and software. They write software for old computers and make hard-drives for old computers.

AndyWarholAmiga3.jpg
They’re like your dream team in a way.

Exactly, they were my dream team. The funnest part of the project was interfacing with them. They have such a passion for these machines and they’re so talented. So many good vibes. It took a while, the whole process, because we wanted to do it right. I think it took until 2013 for the disks to be copied and for them to be looked at by the Computer Club. It’s probably worth mentioning that for the first couple of years we didn’t really expect anything to be on the disks, even though the disks were in very good shape.

What was the most surprising image for you?

That’s a really great question. The Carnegie Museum sponsored a documentary that sent a camera team to follow us and in one of the images is Marilyn Monroe. She’s kind of scribbled all over. For me, that was the best one, because it was just a really intuitive and beautiful use of the application. It was shocking to me how good [Warhol] was at it. Historically, he’s arguably the most important artist of the 20th century, but to see how quickly he understood computers was really, really incredible.

AndyWarholAmiga4.jpg
Had you ever tried to use these programs?

No, I never tried to use Graphic Craft but a few weeks ago there was an event for the launch in Pittsburgh and they actually loaded the program on a computer and let people take their own photographs and paint on them. It was really fun to use that, just as Warhol had done with himself and Debbie Harry. I just scribbled over a photo of myself, but it was really hard, to be honest. It’s not easy to make things look as good as he did.

You had the Surfware line happening at the same time. What prompted that?

Well, that’s been another longer term project. It started when I was approached by Bravado, this global merchandise company who does merchandise for Drake, Justin Bieber, Lil’ Wayne, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. They approached me about doing a line of merchandise with them in 2011.

What was your initial reaction to that offer?

Oh, I was waiting for an opportunity like that to come along for about 10 years. I used to sell things off my website that I had made over PayPal, like posters and records and stuff. And I had just gotten so tired of going to the Post Office all the time, and I knew that I would eventually open up my webstore again, but if I did do it again I wanted to partner up with somebody who could deal with all the fulfillment and stuff like that. So as soon as they asked I expressed my interest with great fervor. It took a few years to figure out what I was going to do and I didn’t just want to do merchandise. I wanted to start my own activewear line. Bravado does Lil’ Wayne’s line Truck Fit, so I thought I should do my own brand. It might not actually make sense but that’s what I did.

ArcangelSurfware.jpg
Is the iPad gradient the same as the gradient work you showed at Frieze?

All the gradients are unique, but it is a similar pattern. It’s important to mention that some of the products feature motifs that are in my fine art. The sweatshirts, iPad and iPhone covers, and the bedsheets are all patterns that are from a series I’ve done called Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations. The other items are just the logo and newer artworks like these magazines and a record I made. It’s kind of part surf clothing, part merchandising of my own artwork, but also publishing. It’s a very scattered assortment of stuff.

ArcangelSurfware2.jpg
How do you feel the Holiday Inn pop-up turned out?

I think the whole event went over pretty well. It was a real art show for me and I spent as much time on it as I would with any other art show. The only difference being we set up the day of and we took it down that night. It was really a true pop-up. But I was really happy how all the products looked with the art and how it all looked together with the Holiday Inn. It really felt complete to me.

Can you tell me about the newer studio pieces.

Some of the pieces were made specifically for the Holiday Inn conference room and others were shown because I knew they’d fit really well in the Holiday Inn. One of the pieces was called Euphoria and it was a multi-channel Christmas light animation in the style of how people make these in the summer set up to music. So I made one using the same kind of software you’d use to do this on their house. I had like 32 strands of Christmas lights.

ca-yolo-dbg-75.jpg
Were there any new gradients?

No, the gradients were on the bedsheets, iPad and iPhone covers. But I wouldn’t say there was any difference in how I showed them in the exhibition. I also showed this work I made years ago called Sports Products. It’s a bronze sculpture that looks exactly like a pair of Oakley sunglasses. I showed a sculpture that’s just a bowl of soggy cereal.

Like actual soggy cereal?

[laughs] Yeah. Soggy Cornflakes. There were also two television sculptures called Express Yourself Clearly, which are these televisions Wal-Mart was selling for a while in the shape of polar bears, and on their screens is a flipbook animation of video taken of Bill Clinton jogging in Korea during his presidency. That’s a series I’ve been doing for a couple years.

What was the feeling you wanted to create in there?

I had seen a term somebody wrote on the web,“non-aspirational,” which I kind of liked. All spaces exert pressure on artwork and I wanted to use the feeling of the Holiday Inn. I grew up in the suburbs, in places like the mall and TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s, and those are the places I feel the most comfortable in. There was also a triptych of the facade of the Applebee’s, which I’d made a couple years ago, but never had the right place to show it.

ca-yolo-dbg-5.jpg ca-yolo-dbg-26.jpg
Are you working on any new music now?

Yeah, I just did this new record called 24 Dances for the Electric Piano. I was playing with the Korg M1, the famous digital keyboard from the late '80s, early '90s. It has a bunch of famous sounds on it and the composition I made uses the piano sound.

I can’t see what direction I’m going in right now, but it’s getting more and more dispersed, which I’m excited about. We’re talking about an apparel brand, the preservation project, music compositions, so I think in the future everything is going to get more and more dispersed and non-related. I think that feels comfortable and exciting, a lot of new stuff, new challenges.

Warhol images ©The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visuals Arts, Inc., courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum, other images courtesy of Cory Arcangel

advertisement

Get Cool Hunting delivered to your inbox every weekday morning

Cadillac Charged Branding

A showcase of the visionary technology and design driving innovation throughout all aspects of our culture and creating the next generation of luxury, which is smarter, personalized and free of compromise.

Charged:
Solaire Generation

Depending on where you live, parking lots can either feel like a terrific waste of space or woefully inadequate for city needs. Still, they are everywhere, not to mention a critical component of urban planning. Since 2008, Solaire Generation has...

Charged:
Lowline and the Remote Skylight

As the most talked about urban planning project in NYC of recent times—alongside the Plus Pool, perhaps—the Lowline continues to capture the attention of the creative community and beyond through its development from concept to construction. In the...

Charged:
Shindo Laboratory

The 2011 documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" at first appears to be a film about an 85-year-old sushi chef and his world-famous dishes, though it's really about a man's lifelong quest to continually make better sushi—to continually strive to master...

Charged:
Jim Campbell in NYC

While the boundaries between contemporary art and technology have grown increasingly blurry—thanks to everything from biologically-inspired knitted structures to oil that "defies" gravity—there are, surprisingly, only a handful of artists who delve...

Charged:
Isaïe Bloch

At the most recent 3D Printshow in London, artist and architect Isaïe Bloch took top honors as Artist of the Year with his work "Satire." The intricate sculpture is just one of many that illuminates his multidisciplinary mastery, magnetizing vision...

Charged:
Lucy McRae

If Lady Gaga were to give up the music and focus solely on design she might look a lot like Lucy McRae, whose artistic biotech-tinged productions make today's wearable technology look like candy bracelets. The self-proclaimed "body architect's" creations...

Charged:
Daguerre's American Legacy

Following two highly acclaimed runs at museums in greater-Paris, photo-historian William B. Becker's collection of daguerreotypes—the first widespread photographic process involving imagery cast upon a highly polished silver surface—is about to make...

Charged:
The Smartest Home

In recent years, the ways in which we as culture interact with technology has shifted. Much in the same way the iPhone completely changed how cell phones, cameras and music players are considered, devices like thermostats that learn how warm you...

Charged:
Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken

The first signs of spring are just starting to show in the low mountains of the Jämtland region of Sweden (600 kilometers northwest of Stockholm) and the stores of preserved wild grasses, cured calf liver and other uniquely Scandinavian delicacies...

Charged:
inFORM, a Revolutionary Design Tool

Virtual reality has made huge strides over the past few years, but for pioneers like the scientists at the MIT Media Lab, digital simulations have begun taking actual, material shape. Formally known as the Tangible Bits project (which was presented...

Charged:
Leo Villareal Interview

by Michael Slenske Two decades ago, New York-based light sculptor Leo Villareal attended Burning Man (the annual week-long art event in Black Rock City, Nevada, which culminates around a wooden sculpture of a man set on fire) and the experience changed...

Charged:
Sougwen Chung

Sougwen Chung has always had an affinity for computers and digital technology. The artist had her first website at the age of ten—"an oddly personal site," she recalls. In addition to the language of code, Chung is also conversant in music. Her father...

Charged:
Afterguard

Racing out on the ocean, the wind can whip mercilessly and consistently, throwing an endless barrage of sea-spray and hurtling your craft faster than its sails and keel can handle. Other times, a swirling gust changes directions without notice or...

Charged:
The Future of Flying

Early this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began rolling out an ambitious overhaul program targeted at streamlining the passenger experience. Called NextGen, the initiative aims to usher in the next generation of air travel. Drawing...

Charged:
Shih Chieh Huang

Since Marcel Duchamp and his bicycle wheel (and urinal), countless artists have included daily objects into their work. There may only be one, though, who uses them to create bioluminescent "living" organisms. Taiwanese-American artist Shih Chieh...

Charged:
HYT Watches

It was 2012 when Swiss watchmaker HYT (short for Hydro Technology) shocked the industry with its H1 wristwatch, but the initial design for the first watch to indicate time with liquid began almost a decade prior. That's when company founder Lucien...

Charged:
Ingo Maurer Interview

Few industrial designers have earned a foothold in the greater creative culture like Ingo Maurer, the German-born, New York-based designer of lighting and lighting installations. In the decades since founding his own design practice, Ingo Maurer...

Charged:
Solar Impulse 2

It's staggering to think that, within less than a century, we've gone from Charles Lindbergh piloting the first solo transatlantic flight—Long Island to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis—to two Swiss adventurers on the cusp of circumnavigating the...

Charged:
Troika

Founded by three friends upon graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 2003, Troika is a collective and Cool Hunting favorite whose work continues to forge new ground in art. Installing site-specific projects everywhere from Mexico City...

Charged:
Neil Harbisson and Cybernetics in the Arts

While the term "wearable technology" might make you think of a fitness tracker or Dick Tracy-esque talking wristwatch, Barcelona-based artist Neil Harbisson wears an antenna that is permanently implanted in his head. Diagnosed with achromatopsia...

Charged:
Redesigning an Icon

Since its founding in 1902, Cadillac has stood as an American icon of automobile design that hails straight from the heart of Detroit. When the future-facing brand unveiled its sleek, modern new insignia design on the 2015 ATS Coupe earlier last...

Charged:
Ressence Watches

The world took note when Benoît Mintiens, founder of the Antwerp-based Ressence watches, released the Type 3 watch at Baselworld in 2013. The industrial designer had constructed a watch like no other; the watch face appears to dance across its crystal...

Charged:
Indie Wearable Tech Brands

As companies like Nike, Google, and Apple rush to be at the forefront of wearable technology, a group of startups and tech incubators are making a strong case for why consumers may need to look elsewhere for the next big thing. With products emerging...

Charged:
The Future of Cadillac Design

At some point in the last decade, Cadillac made a conscious decision to not be all things to all people. By sharpening silhouettes, narrowing lines and hardening angles, the cars developed an entirely new personality, one meant to attract a more design...

Charged:
Five Next-Gen Digital Cameras

Since the first widely available digital cameras hit the market in the early '90s, the technical leaps made in the field of digital photography have been exponential. Today smartphones house cameras with sensors that dwarf those of high-end models...

Charged:
Cory Arcangel's Art and Apparel

by Michael Slenske In the early 2000s, Buffalo-born artist Cory Arcangel hacked the Hogan’s Alley video game and replaced the Nintendo gunslingers with silhouettes of Andy Warhol, Colonel Sanders, Flavor Flav and the Pope for a cheeky piece he called...

Charged:
Bryce Wolkowitz Interview

Slightly obscured by the glare of the gallery’s impossibly tall and tinted windows, the lines of Robert Currie’s wiry, site-specific installation stretch toward the entrance of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery. Unassumingly elegant, Currie’s sculpture looks...

Charged Video:
Aerosyn-Lex Meštrović

With an extensive background in calligraphy and graphic design, New York City–based artist Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic elegantly meshes the two visual forms across an array of media. Strongly rooted at the base of all his work is a visceral connection...

Charged:
Smart LEDs for the Home

Bright ideas are coming from every design sector, as engineers, artists and scientists join industrial designers in creating the technologies and products that will define the future of light. Today, it's inherently progressive industries like LEDs...

Charged:
High-Tech Summer Essentials

Whether your summer plans have you headed overseas for a safari or only as far as the backyard, smart tech is getting more clever and more seasonally conscious. From air conditioners that know when you're on your way home and can be operated by smartphones...