a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould
Assembled from a multitude of home-made clips, circulating on video-sharing sites like YouTube, of amateur musicians showing off their instrumental skills, Cory Arcangel’s ‘a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould’ marshals this ragtag clamour of disparate voices into a passable note-by-note reconstruction of the first of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous ‘Goldberg Variations’.
Requiring no more than a one-note contribution from each of his players to carry the different parts of the tune, Arcangel’s two-screen video installation is a tour-de-force of quickfire editing whose throwaway virtuosity belies its equally acute understanding of issues of authorship and interpretation, and the wider ramifications of digital production and reproduction. Colliding one of the canonical works of solo classical piano with the vibrant free-for-all of online network culture, ‘a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould’ lingers in the brain like feedback, long after its last note has played.
This commission was accompanied by a selection of different video, photographic and media work by Arcangel at each of the three touring venues.
‘a couple thousand short films about Glenn Gould’ was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella in collaboration with Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, Spacex Gallery, Exeter and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.
Installation Photography: Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and Castlefield Gallery.Back to Projects