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The Ubuweb Experimental Video Project
Colin Marshall

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31. Cory Arcangel's I Shot Andy Warhol (2002)
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Like Arcangel's Clouds, I Shot Andy Warhol probably isn't meant as video art, per se. Presumably it works best as an installation consisting of the actual reprogrammed cartridge running in a real NES console on a television; then you could actually play it. You could pick up the ZapperTM shoot Warhol, the Pope and Colonel Sanders yourself. I'd jump at this chance, since, despite how much NES I've played in my very Gen-Y life, I've never had the chance to put in time with Hogan's Alley, Arcangel'd-up or otherwise. It looks like fun.

So the best this Ubuweb video can do is give you an idea of what the modified game looks like, which is still pretty funny and even kind of impressive. Reprogramming an NES cartridge in this way is probably a simpler project than the Herculean thing I'm envisioning, but it's clearly not easy. You can get an idea of the task on the I Shot Andy Warhol subsection of Arcangel's "Things I Made Page", the exploration of which has actually been the most interesting side quest of reviewing his videos on Ubuweb. He appears to be a pretty cool dude, and seems to understand, on some level, the benefits of creating under near-Draconian rule sets, such as those imposed, per the above description, "by early digital technologies and media." If indeed he does, he's in the company of great minds. Wasn't it Errol Morris who said that art is establishing arbitrary rules and following them slavishly? Wasn't it Brian Eno who said that, when a technological limitation is lifted, accepting that limitation becomes a valid aesthetic choice?

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