Paper Rad was a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Providence, Rhode Island-based art collective from approx. 2001 until 2008. Known for creating comics, zines, video art, net art, MIDI files, paintings, installations, and music with a distinct "lo-fi" aesthetic often associated with underground culture or 1990s "retro tech", juxtaposed images and featuring bright colors.
Paper Rad exhibited works at several major galleries including PaceWildenstein, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Deitch Projects. The collective published a book, Paper Rad, BJ and da Dogs in late-2005 and a DVD on Load Records in 2006 (Trash Talking). Paper Rad's video works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix.
Paper Rad calls its style "Dogman 99", a play on the Danish filmmaking movement Dogme 95. According to one of its project websites, the rules of Dogman 99 are: "No Wacom tablet, no scanning, pure RGB colors only, only fake tweening, and as many alpha tricks as possible".
Paper Rad's visual projects often employ bright fluorescent palettes juxtaposed with primary colors to create a distinctive "lo-fi" look. It adopts a variety of techniques and elements to achieve this look, including pop art, collage, punk art, as well as imagery from popular culture. The multimedia projects incorporate MIDI audio, poor recordings of original sound effects and voices, pixelization, and other crude audio and visual components. Paper Rad recycled or appropriated obscure sounds and images from a variety of sources, including old cartoons, commercials, and late-night television.
Collaborations & Other Works
Super Mario Bros. Movie
Paper Rad collaborated with multi-media artist Cory Arcangel to make Super Mario Bros. Movie, a 15-minute video piece about the life and times of Nintendo's Mario. The piece consisted of a hacked Nintendo Entertainment System video-game cartridge where the backgrounds and scenarios were altered and rearranged into a narrative story about the game world becoming corrupted and Mario's existential crises about being a video game character. The movie debuted at Deitch Projects in New York in 2005.
Wyld File consisted of the duo Ben Jones and Jacob Ciocci, in collaboration with Eric Mast (better known as E*ROCK). Wyld File is a commercial entity that makes lo-fi music videos for artists like Islands, The Gossip ("Standing in the Way of Control"), and Beck ("Gameboy Homeboy").
Ben Jones collaborated with PFFR and Williams Street on a pilot for Adult Swim titled Neon Knome. It was passed by the network and went on to become rebranded as a Cartoon Network show called The Problem Solverz.
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