Think Like a Hacker


“Not-so-silent-awe” is how I might describe high school students’ collective reaction to Cory Arcangel: Masters on Saturday, November 3. Maybe they were surprised to find familiar imagery from Nintendo and YouTube in the museum’s Forum Gallery, or maybe they were overcome by inspiration… Or maybe it was the artist himself, who led a gallery talk about his work on view in Masters.

Arcangel also talked to the students about his creative process, inspiration (favorite video games and music), and why he decided to become an artist in the first place. During the workshop, students created low-tech responses to works on view in the exhibition, specifically responding to the concept of appropriation and Arcangel’s hacker sensibility.

Many of the participating high school students are in their fifth year of The Art Connection program, a Saturday art class for students in grades 5 through 9. Students in The Art Connection spend Saturdays during the school year working toward the annual student exhibition by studying works on view in the galleries and creating in the museum’s studios, guided by our teaching artists. While the students’ works for the spring exhibition are still in-progress, I predict that Arcangel’s influence will be observable in the their work. Arcangel’s advice to our group of emerging artists? Just make stuff. Don’t worry about it being good or bad. The more stuff you make, the more good stuff you’ll make.

Try your hand at the Arcangel-inspired video activity at this Thursday’s Culture Club from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Know a high school student who might want to join us for a workshop? Check out our programs and classes.