Digital Art Copyist Workshop w/Cory Arcangel’s Super Mario Clouds


Jonathan Dahan, Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA

In the tradition of art copyist programs, Jonathan Dahan would like to offer a workshop on recreating Cory Arcangel’s “Super Mario Clouds”. Participants will leave with their own edition of the artwork, made by erasing and writing code onto an EPROM chip, modifying original Super Mario cartridges, and running on an authentic Nintendo Entertainment System.

The workshop will:
* contrast copying digital artwork and non-digital artwork;
* discuss how to recognize a technical masterpiece when the medium is code;
* ask what it means to copy 1s and 0s;
* explore the relationship between reverse engineering a program and copying a painting;
* question the nature of collaboration in re-appropriated artwork (does Cory credit S.Miyamoto for creating Super Mario Bros?)

If participants are more interested in the technical process, we can look at the operation and limitations of the NES in an attempt to answer why the artist made certain decisions. For example, Cory chose a very particular way to modify Super Mario Bros – by changing the code, as opposed to the data. By understanding how the NES works, we can figure out if there are alternate ways of programming Clouds.

This is a day long workshop. Materials cost $25/person. 4 weeks advance notice of participants is required.

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