If you can't see the above media player, either click the icon in its empty place or this post's permalinkClouds. 5:15 min., color, silent, 2002. By Cory Arcangel. Ubuweb's description:
Cory took an old Super Mario Brothers Nintendo video game and erased everything but the clouds.Easier to describe, I daresay, than to hazard a guess as to how he did it. The easiest explanation is that he played Super Mario Bros. in an emulator, recorded it, and then visually erased everything onscreen but the clouds and the blue background. But no! He actually hacked the physical NES cartridge, which he shows you how to do on his site. So the "video art" here isnt so much what's embedded above as what you get when you put the home-soldered cart into the machine.
Even watched in the form of Ubuweb clip, Clouds (a.k.a. Super Mario Clouds, or whatever) is actually pretty hypnotic. I somehow never realized, in all my childhood hours of playing that game, that the clouds drifted to the left by themselves, even absent the player's scrolling the screen by walking ahead. Here's a picture of Arcangel's own modified game — note that it is, and must be, just Super Mario Bros., not the Mario/Duck Hunt pack-in everyone has seven of — for no better reason than that it amuses me: