Cultural and technological obsolescence are the language of Cory Arcangel’s new solo show tl;dr, in which the American takes a trip down memory lane to investigate the effects of passing time on digital media. Anyone who was crawling through the primordial internet ooze of the ’90s will recognise the popular “lake” graphic effect of the time, created by distorting an image on a horizontal axis to mimic its reflection in water. At his solo show currently running at Team (gallery, inc.) in New York, Arcangel has selected a series of famous faces (and shoes) to play with, applying a lake applet to the digital file and displaying the result on a flat screen TV.
P Diddy (or perhaps still Puff Daddy at that point, I’m not an expert), Hilary Clinton, an unlikely duo of Larry David and Skrillex, and the one and only Britney Spears seen through the distortion of actual time and through the distorting lake effect, transport the viewer back. The loss of data caused by file compression gives the images a further pixellated, grainy quality that adds to the overall sense of decay, while the use of flat screens – a symbol of current American consumerism juxtaposed against the dated subject matter – brings these nostalgic images up to date. tl;dr finishes on 26 October.