Caprice

At the heart of this exhibition is the two-screen video installation entitled ‘a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould’ from 2007. Compiled from over 1100 individual snippets that the artist downloaded off the Internet and edited using software that he himself devised, we are treated to a video version of the 1st variation from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. At a bewildering speed, the images alternate from person to person as each individual plays a completely different instrument, each time performing a single note from Bach’s composition. The pianist Glenn Gould used the technique of piecing together various recordings to produce his commercial records, something which Archangel takes here to its humorous extreme. hamburgerbahnhof

This work is a product demonstration of the artist’s Gould Pro software, named after the famous twentieth century classical Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, whose playing was distinguished by its outstanding technical proficiency and articulation of polyphonic musical textures and whose recordings featured the early use of electronic editing techniques. Arcangel wrote the software in order to make a series of videos that re-create well-known classical, atonal, or baroque compositions out of notes from YouTube videos at a faster speed than commercial editing programs would allow. He previously used the software in his video Drei Klavierstucke op. 11, 1909 (2009) to assemble Arnold Schoenberg’s famous piano pieces entirely from YouTube clips of kittens playing piano. whitney

 

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