Colorful Video Resurrects Vintage Technology Across Time’s Square’s Billboards

Times Square Arts, the largest public platform for contemporary performance and visual arts, is pleased to present Another Romp Thru the IP by artist Cory Arcangel for the month of March as part of the organization’s signature Midnight Moment seriesAnother Romp Thru the IP is co-presented with Lisson Gallery. Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on over 90 electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight.

Another Romp Thru the IP revisits a 2009 improvisation by Cory Arcangel, made during a residency at Alfred State Institute for Electronic Arts (IEA). Embodying Arcangel’s signature approach to art-making, Romp manipulates analog computer technologies and raw data into visuals that are at once striking and nostalgic.

The video was created using a Sandin Image Processor, a modular, patch programmable, analog computer optimized for the manipulation of gray level information from multiple video inputs designed by American video and computer graphics artist Dan Sandin in the 1970s. The title references “Five Minute Romp Through the IP”, a 1971 video made by Sandin himself, featuring the instrument.

“In our era of phones, screens, Zooms, etc, 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 70’s” said Cory Arcangel.

A different edit of this improvisation showed in Cory Arcangel’s 2011 solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum titled “Pro Tools. For Midnight Moment, Cory Arcangel created a new iteration to play simultaneously across Times Square’s towering digital landscape.

A pioneer of technology-based art, Cory Arcangel’s work 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 remains faithful to open source culture and makes all of his work and methods accessible online, thus superimposing a perpetual question-mark as to the value of the art object.

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).

Lisson Gallery is one of the most influential and longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world. Today the gallery supports and promotes the work of more than 60 international artists across two spaces in London, three across New York City and East Hampton, and one in Shanghai, as well as the newest location in Los Angeles, opening in autumn 2022. Established in 1967 by Nicholas Logsdail, Lisson Gallery pioneered the early careers of important Minimal and Conceptual artists, such as Art & Language, Carl Andre, Daniel Buren, Donald Judd, John Latham, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long and Robert Ryman among many others. It still works with many of these artists as well as others of that generation from Carmen Herrera to the renowned estates of Leon Polk Smith, Ted Stamm and Roy Colmer.

In its second decade the gallery introduced significant British sculptors to the public for the first time, including Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor, Shirazeh Houshiary and Julian Opie. Since 2000, the gallery has gone on to represent many more leading international artists such as Marina Abramović, Ai Weiwei, John Akomfrah, Susan Hiller, Tatsuo Miyajima and Sean Scully. It is also responsible for raising the international profile of a younger generation of artists led by Cory Arcangel, Ryan Gander, Haroon Mirza, Laure Prouvost, Pedro Reyes, Wael Shawky, Hugh Hayden, Van Hanos and Cheyney Thompson.

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Through the Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance’s own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators, such as Mel Chin, Tracey Emin, Jeffrey Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity.

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