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bigbro cruft

BigBro Cruft

Made specifically for the CRUFT exhibit at Manifest Gallery. A camera located in Manifest's main gallery records the behavior of all visitors. A second camera monitors people in New York City walking the streets of Times Square. Still images from both live video feeds are used to create a new composite image. An area of heightened focus is determined and a red linear circle is drawn on the image to emphasis potential security risks. This new image was then uploaded every minute to a secure server and can also be seen at www.robertspahr.com for any interested party or governmental authority to observe.

CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers

I make work that spans computational art, performance, installation, painting and object-making, using collage, remix, automation, indeterminacy, and randomness to bear upon the computer and the Internet as machines that regulate and restrict just as much as they can be used to disrupt and resist dominant codes of seeing and being.

My art practice reflects on our relationship to media technologies, especially surveillance and mind control, and in the process contemplates what a post-human art may look like. 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.

Digital collages called Cruft are created by scraping the web using computational algorithms that remix mainstream media sites like CNN with social networks of individuals, and reproduce, in mimicry of the 24/7 media cycle, the narrow choices permitted in public discourse. In another series of recent work, Machine Vision, I recombine footage from surveillance cameras with other media, to explore the relationship between war, surveillance, and automation within an overall machine aesthetic.