Cory Arcangel

b. 1978, Buffalo, New York, USA. Lives and works in Brooklyn, USA

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Cory Arcangel, Apple Garage Band Auto-tune Demonstration, 2007
Cory Arcangel, Apple Garage Band Auto-tune Demonstration, 2007

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Apple Garage Band Auto-tune Demonstration is, as Arcangel describes on hiswebsite, a ‘vid which is pretty much exactly what it says it is’. Arcangel has appropriated footage of Jimi Hendrix’s legendary performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstockfestival in 1969 and run the soundtrack through the auto-tune function of Apple’s GarageBand software. The software automatically corrects pitch, thus compensating for the apparent musical shortcomings of the performer. Following Arcangel’s intervention, Hendrix’s radical gesture is robbed of its vitality, its spontaneous self-expression lost in the pursuit of a commercially viable sound. Arcangel’s software demonstration reveals the absurdity of such consumer technology that reduces creative talent and an artist’s potential for originality to an automated process, while of course relying on those same processes to define his oeuvre as an artist.