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Topline
09.20.2019 - 10.31.2019
Introduction

A topline is a sung melody which forms the primary vocal hook of a pop song. In contrast to back up vocals and harmonies, the topline is the dominant melody. Many of the melodies in today's global pop hits are composed by professional and often nearly anonymous topline writers. For example, "Boom, badoom, boom / boom, badoom, boom / bass / yeah, that that super bass", made famous by Nicki Minaj was written by topline savant Ester Dean. With his unique creation vision Arcangel draws together different strands of popular culture highlighting connections between various forms of contemporary artistic creation. 


Cory Arcangel (b. 1978, Buffalo, NY) is an artist, composer, artist, and entrepreneur. As a pioneer of digital technology-based art, Arcangel works in a wide variety of media, including music composition, video, modified video games, performance and the Internet. The aging process of technologies and fashion is always a central question in his oeuvre. He also often uses software, hardware and Internet resources as raw artistic material, placing them in new contexts, and this revealing a new kind of style. 

The 14 works in Topline are based on commercially available textiles, which are scanned, printed with UV ink on IKEA Linnmon table-tops which have been ordered from the Shanghai IKEA. The 14 works – printed on a total of 68 table tops – are densely installed. They show various types of leggings – sweatpants, track pants, Daisy Dukes and ripped denim jeans. In each work, details such as the waistband, pockets, zippers, text and logos are combined and reassembled by cutting and folding the commercially available fabric. These collages forefront contemporary mainstream fashion as an aesthetic reflection of the time in which we live. The “paintings” visually abstract the commodification of fast-casual fashion aesthetics, and present athleisure wear as a global signifier of late capitalism - a manifestation of dotcom and gig-economy labor, tightening supply lines, and expanding wealth.


Using nearly obsolete scanning technology these new “paintings” transform fast-casual fashion fabrics and ubiquitous IKEA furniture into artworks which capture a moment in contemporary culture, much like the catchy yet disposable hooks of today’s topline writers which have also become a symbol of our times. Through his instantly generated digital images and unconventional presentations Arcangel prompts the viewer to question the mutual relationship between cultural production, human development and the advancement of technology.

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Artist Cory Arcangel

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