Drei Klavierstücke op. 11 II and III
Arnold Schoenberg's Drei Klavierstücke (1909) is widely recognised as the first piece of atonal music. In making this piece Arcangel devised and wrote a computer program that would scour the hundreds of videos of cats playing the piano that he downloaded from YouTube and identify the notes played. He then entered in a rendition of Glenn Gould playing Schoenberg's composition and automated the software to recreate the piece using the video clips.
The software is available as an open source tool via his website. There is also a version of the piece with Gould in one ear and the cats in the other to allow you to make a direct comparison. Ever interested in different audiences' reactions and diverse modes of dissemination, Arcangel has said that he is fascinated by the differing response that the work has received in galleries, on YouTube and when it was featured on the website Cute Overload.
Arcangel says: "This project fuses a few different things I have been interested in lately, mainly “cats”, copy & paste net junk, and youtube’s tendency in the past few years to host videos that are as good and many times similar to my favorite video artworks... I’m talking about The Infinite Cat Project, Cats in Sinks, Cat in Fan, Ninja cat comes closer while not moving!, Smart Cat Open Door, Fat Cat VS Small Box, Pussy versus Printer, Edison’s The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton’s),It’s been a long day, Panta improvising on the piano featuring my cat (my personal favorite cat video), the Ultimate Canon Rock, Sopranos every profanity, The Big Lebowski – Every Single Fucking Dude,Marclay’s “hello” supercut, 50 50s, Check out my new stereo – Extreme Bass! (also see Goldstein’s “A Glass of Milk” here), Watching the Paint Dry (also see Burt Barr’s Watching The Paint Dry serieshere), even Andy Eating a Hamburger, & Infinite Warhol (you might have noticed we are back 2 the beginning of this list)."