Watch now: Cory Arcangel's 'Related to your interests' at Art Unlimited 2023
7 June 2023
For the 2023 edition of Art Basel Unlimited, Cory Arcangel presents Related to your interests (2020-2021), a collection of 855 bot-generated Youtube videos scripted out of repurposed content from ‘clickbait’ websites. The nonsensical and aesthetically dissonant narrative derives from text, images or articles assembled together and is read through an artificially generated voice. Each video composition is uploaded by the bot onto its Youtube channel – a process entirely devoid of the artist’s agency.
Arcangel has been exploring the potential and failures of old and new digital technologies, highlighting their obsolescence, humor, aesthetic attributes and, at times, eerie influence in contemporary life. Applying a semi-archeological methodology, his practice explores, encodes, and hacks the structural language of video games, software, social media and machine learning — treating them as subject matter and medium.
As Arcangel told Art Basel Stories: ‘Do you remember Elsagate? It was this thing that happened to YouTube six or seven years ago, where people noticed that their kids [after watching some Frozen-themed content] were being served weird videos of like a 3D finger going into 3D marbles. I figured somebody built a system that algorithmically generates these videos based on a feedback loop of what kids want to see. I wanted to get into that Elsagate energy and figure out how to make one of these bot-generated YouTube channels… but to do it in a way where the videos, instead of attracting views, become increasingly worse.’