Paper Rad

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Screenshot from Paper Rad's Facemaker video (2005).

Paper Rad was a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Providence, Rhode Island-based art collective from approx. 2001 until 2008.[1] 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.


The three primary members were Jacob Ciocci, Jessica Ciocci, and Ben Jones, but additionally included Paul Bright, David Wightman, Sonja Radovancevic, Extreme Animals and others.[1][2][3]

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[4] in late-2005 and a DVD on Load Records in 2006 (Trash Talking). Paper Rad's video works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix.[5]


Paper Rad calls its style "Dogman 99", a play on the Danish filmmaking movement Dogme 95.[6] 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".[6]

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.

In the early 2000s Paper Rad's website featured early GIF art as well as a maze of linked images in the "Dogman 99" style.[6]

Collaborations & Other Works[edit]

Super Mario Bros. Movie[edit]

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.[7] 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.[7][8] The movie debuted at Deitch Projects in New York in 2005.[8]

Wyld File[edit]

Wyld File consisted of the duo Ben Jones and Jacob Ciocci, in collaboration with Eric Mast (better known as E*ROCK).[9] 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").[10]


The main characters, Horace, Alfe, and Roba.

Ben Jones collaborated with PFFR and Williams Street on a pilot for Adult Swim titled Neon Knome.[11] It was passed by the network and went on to become rebranded as a Cartoon Network show called The Problem Solverz.[11]


  1. ^ a b Chiaverina, John (2015-09-16). "Paul's Pile Of Papers: Paul Bright On His Paper Rad Collection And Forthcoming Book". ARTnews. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  2. ^ "Watch Influential Noise Outfit Extreme Animals' Insane New Video For "God Jam (Blow Your Pants Off)"". Paper Magazine. 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  3. ^ "Moore College presents Women in Animation Film Festival". Metro US. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  4. ^ "Quimby's Store". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "Electronic Arts Intermix: Paper Rad". Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "A Brief History of Animated GIF Art, Part One". Artnet News. 2014-08-02. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  7. ^ a b "Cory Arcangel's Surrealist Super Mario". Hyperallergic. 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Roberta (2005-02-04). "Art in Review; Cory Arcangel; Cory Arcangel and Paper Rad". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  9. ^ "E*Rock". Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Womack, David; Heller, Steven (2011). Becoming a Digital Designer: A Guide to Careers in Web, Video, Broadcast, Game and Animation Design. John Wiley & Sons,. p. 37. ISBN 111803421X.
  11. ^ a b "Unleashing the Pizza-Loving Beast". Animation Magazine. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2017-10-30.

External links[edit]