I make visual art from the digital leftovers produced by the main stream media and those left behind on social networking sites, and scattered across the web. I write automated computer programs that scrape these leftovers from the web, and remix them into a digital collage. I call this work 'Cruft', which is a computer hacker term defined as an unpleasant substance; excess; superfluous junk; and redundant or superseded computer code.
On the morning of September 11th, 2001, technology, warfare and the visual collide. I was in lower Manhattan, as I saw a small cloud of smoke rising above the towers. I was oblivious that two passenger planes were being subverted into missiles. I was experiencing warfare and terrorism and at the time I simply wondered if I would be late for work. The media showed images of the planes impact, and the buildings collapse in a repetitive loop. Our screens had become weapons of terror. The system of representation was hacked, much like the planes and through this spectacle we were forced to relive the moment in a never ending present. The main stream media controlled the message and the United States was going to go to war. It was these events, and my questioning of what happened to the images once they became digital leftovers that lead me to the making of automated code running 24/7, producing CRUFT on a cable news schedule.
Images of Machine Vision
Since the summer of 2013, the news has been filled with a constant flow of information leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowdon regarding the complete surveillance system created by the National Security Agency with the infrastructure and help of companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. Together the government and corporations have created an automated system of looking, sharing, and hiding.
Our personal lives and images are looked at by automated machines, shared by computational processes and controlled by hidden algorithms. This machine aesthetic under the control of the corporatocracy influences almost every aspect of society, stripping the population of its privacy as well as the earth of its natural resources. I am interested in the governmental goals of total information awareness combined with capitalism's need to consume itself at all cost. My recent work suggests possible dots to be connected, linking this machine aesthetic to our current economic and political crisis, as demonstrated by Obama's automated machines fighting both foreign and domestic drone warfare.