To create MIG 29 Soviet Fighter Plane and Clouds, Cory Arcangel hacked into MiG-29: Soviet Fighter, a flight combat simulation video game released in 1989 for home computer systems. The artist cut and pasted graphics of scrolling clouds and a jet that flies in a never-ending loop from the game into two altered Nintendo cartridges. The result is a work that captures something of the absurd, passive ennui of watching others play video games, transforming the game’s simulated acts of violence into a banal, if strangely compelling, repetitious image.
For nearly a decade and a half, Arcangel has devoted his practice to willfully disregarding the conventional wisdom that alterations to existing digital products and services ought to only improve their functionality or efficiency. Instead, his interventions force a consideration of the way new technologies become seamlessly integrated into contemporary life, only to quietly disappear a short time later as victims of planned obsolescence.
Label from Screen Play: Life in an Animated World, June 20–September 13, 2015