Above: bootleg over-the-crowd shots of Super Mario Movie, a wall-projected, altered Nintendo cartridge by Cory Arcangel and Paper Rad, tonight, Jan. 15, at Jeffrey Deitch. The image was impressively huge (16+ feet from floor to ceiling?) and the sound sublimely 8-bit-raspy. The plot: Mario's cartridge universe starts to break down because it's "been in a closet for 20 years." A blue creature takes him on a spiritual voyage via magic pixel carpet (the Paper Rad influence) culminating in a "rave" featuring some tasty allover patterns and intense gatling gun electro--I think it was right after the happy-hardcore smileys above, at any rate the screen text announced "This is the rave." Excellent work; hundreds of person hours of poking in sprites on the hacked cartridge paid off. It was nice to see the "twice the psychedelia" concept realized on such a large scale. (As discussed in this earlier post [scroll down], by generating the blinking geometric grids at the microchip level, as opposed to plugging values in some off-the-shelf lightshow program, Arcangel takes advantage of the cartridge's ability to sync up with the tv raster at a 60 lines per second refresh rate, which is twice as fast as video [32 lines per second]. Hence, twice the psychedelia.) As explained in a "making of" video at Deitch, the Paper Rad crew submitted drawings and animation routines that Arcangel then laboriously converted to code and burned on the cartridge's chip, but his artistic hand is prominent in it as well: the collaboration successfully melds the BEIGE and Rad sensibilities. (The source code is posted on the four walls of the gallery's front room for the geek-minded.)
Below, a "deleted frame" that came to me via the miracle of the internet, but that bears a suspicious resemblance to Noah Lyon's "Chopped Off Heads of Dudes" and is captioned superheadsofstate.gif. Another internet authentication mystery and reminder of the grim world outside the cyber funhouse. Impeach Bush!