Ecce Homo: Trace Evidence

Ecce Homo ("behold the man") are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate when he presents the scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion.

Ecce Homo: Trace Evidence images are created in response to Donald J. Trump's policy of institutional child abuse taking place on the Mexican border. These images bear witness to a time when our government creates orphans by permanently separating migrant children from their families. I bear witness to the defense of the indefensible. Refusing to call a cage a cage does not transform a cage into a chain-link partition. In Donald Trump's America migrant children are incarcerated.

The ongoing Ecce Homo series of mixed-media images are electrostatic prints that begin as appropriated digital images of Donald J. Trump political rallies. The source images of Ecce Homo: Trace Evidence were created by the Deservings Cruft. These cruft images are digitally altered, large prints are made and altered again with the addition of mixed media.

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Creative Research

CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers
My work includes traditional art practices in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Recent work includes generative art, performance, installation, and network based art. My arts practice explores the Internet not just as a distribution platform but organized under the umbrella concept of Cruft. I take apart, juxtapose, recycle, and interrupt the relentless flow of media to reveal a relationship in which we don't simply consume media, but are also consumed by it. Computer code is automated and runs on a server which at specified times goes out to the Internet and scrapes source material from the web to then produce a form of digital collage. Each auto-generated Cruft is the digital residue created from the information flowing through the Internet at that moment. This work is then automatically uploaded to my web site for distribution to the viewing public. My work on Cruft has encouraged me to think about the nature of the unique art object and it’s dematerialization, from atoms to bits, allowing for potentially infinite copies.

Misdirection as Mass Deception
Like the magician performing sleight-of-hand to deceive and misdirect the eye, those in power tell us where to look and what to think. The mass media provides the stage where the deception unfolds focusing public attention with emotion and fear. Having been in lower Manhattan on September 11th 2001, I experienced first hand the collision of terrorism and warfare into the visual, resulting in our network connected screens compressing the time between living and documenting an event. The media showed images of the planes impact and the buildings collapse in a repetitive loop. Our screens became weapons of terror, the system of representation was hijacked and we were forced to relive those terrifying moments by viewing images presented as a never ending present. In 2003, as the United States invaded Iraq, I began to notice how the media presented images that contributed to fear and consensus, and as the images disappeared from view, I wondered what became of these digital leftovers and I then started creating auto-generated Cruft.

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About Me

Past exhibits include The 20th International Generative Art Conference, Exhibition & Live Performances, at the MAR, Museum of Art and Classense Library in Ravenna, Italy 2017; Artist Statement: Exhibition and Publication at Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, CICA Museum, South Korea, 2016; Art2Code Exhibit and Catalog, College Art Association and Arts Collective V1B3, Washington D.C. 2016; Unknown Territory Exhibition: New Art From The Hacktory, Grey Area Gallery, Crane Arts, Philidelphia, PA, 2014; InterArtive, Culture + Urban Space, Issue #65, Barcelona, Spain 2014; Hz Journal #19, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014; Synthetic Zero Event, Bronx Art Space, Bronx, NY; Generative Art International Conference, Rome, Italy 2013; PRISM Breakup @ Eyebeam, NYC, ReFest / Art+Tech Festival, organized by CultureHub at La Mama, NYC; Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art, Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT; Interrupt II Festival and Conference - Brown University, Providence RI; cgiv2011, Digital Art Gallery, Computer Graphics, Imaging and Visualization, Singapore; DRHA 2010 Conference: Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts, London, England.

I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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