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Super Mario Clouds is Cory Arcangel’s groundbreaking digital art installation that plays a hacked version of the 1985 video game Super Mario Bros. on an original Nintendo console, split across three video displays.

Arcangel famously hacked the game’s code to turn its vintage computer graphics into a landscape artwork, showing serene clouds endlessly scrolling through a blue sky. Super Mario Clouds is considered a masterwork in the field of digital art for the way Arcangel elevated software hacking to high art, paving the way for generations of rebellious artists to confront and change the proprietary digital products that pervade our lives. Whitney Museum of American Art curator Christiane Paul called it “a new manifestation of Pop art”—this artwork is essentially the Warhol soup can for Generation X.

June 2021

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