Home / Work / ACIA Cruft Collection

Images for Asia and Commons in the Information Age, Taipei, Taiwan.

a collection of cruft images for ACIA: International Workshop on Asia and Commons in the Information Age

ACIA Cruft Collection

A high resolution ACIA Cruft Collection presented and made available at the ACIA: International Workshop on Asia and Commons in the Information Age, to be hosted in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 19-20, 2008.

Download...  Print...  Share...

Download high resolution "ACIA Cruft Collection" (31 Megs)

Updated 15 minutes past the hour.
This cruft algorithm extracts images from the NYtimes home page once every hour. The images from this page are then manipulated to generate the three panel overlapping cruft. Over time the changes or lack of change seen in the crufts reflect the news cycle of the NYtimes.com site.

Hourly Cruft
01.hourly.jpg created 01/06/08 at 05:15
View the most recent Hourly Cruft

Updated at an undetermined time (approx. 20 min past the hour)
This algorithm calculates the exact time since the beginning of a new era. A webcam located in New York City captures a specific moment as people go about their lives. We simultaneously become voyeurs while viewing an image that preserves a snapshot in time.

Era Cruft
02.era.jpg created 01/05/08 at 19:30
View the most recent Era Cruft

An image is created at 5:35 and 11:35 AM & PM EST.
This cruft algorithm extracts images from the CNN home page once every eight hours. The headline text is parsed, and the images from this page are then enlarged, cropped and turned into grayscale. The text is then pasted into the red fields generating the final cruft.

Premise Cruft
03.premise.jpg created 08/03/07 at 05:35
View the most recent Premise Cruft

MIRE CRUFT (after karl)
An image is created 26 minutes past the hour.
This cruft algorithm extracts an image from the Whitehouse.gov, and the Aljazeera.com homepage once every hour. These images are then altered to generate a composite cruft creating a simultaneous self-portrait of both Washington and the Arab world.

Mire Cruft
04.mire.jpg created 01/27/07 at 11:26

Mire Cruft
05.mire.jpg created 01/08/08 at 00:26
View the most recent Mire Cruft

An image is created at 6:34 AM EST.
Two images are extracted from the Catholic.org homepage, one from the International News, and one from the U.S. National News. These images are cropped, the color range limited and a composite image is produced that includes a biblical verse parsed from the Biblegateway.com website.

Tenet Cruft
06.tenet.jpg created 12/27/07 at 06:34
View the most recent Tenet Cruft

An image is created at eight minutes past the hour.
This cruft algorithm extracts an image from the CNN home page once every hour as a snapshot of current events. Color and contrast is manipulated. The image is then collated and combined with images from the previous 23 hours. Recent events are in the foreground with past events receding from view.

Twenty Four Cruft
07.twentyfour.jpg created 07/25/07 at 04:08
View the most recent Twenty Four Cruft

Updated at 7:58 and 1:58 AM & PM EST.
Using data that is collected from Yahoo! search log files, these terms are the most searched subjects from 2 days past (Tuesday-Saturday). One subject is used in a new search query on Yahoo! image search. From the results an image is selected and combined with the current threat advisory from the Department of Homeland Security, the total number of Department of Defense confirmed American dead in Iraq as well as the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline to generate the Jaw-Grind Cruft.

Jawgrind Cruft
08.jawgrind.jpg created 01/05/08 at 19:58
View the most recent Jawgrind Cruft

DISTRESS CRUFT (my fellow americans)
Updated at 3:51 AM EST
Visitors to the Empire State Building are required to have their photo taken. This security photo is cleverly disguised as a tourist friendly service with a beautiful night view of the Empire State in the background. You and your party then have the ability to purchase this photo as you leave the building. (When I tried to opt out of the photo, I was specifically told I could not for security reasons.) This cruft process downloads one of these photos and creates a composite image with an American Flag.

Section 8a. of the Flag Code states: "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

Distress Cruft
09.distress.jpg created 01/05/08 at 03:51
View the most recent Distress Cruft

This cruft process is no longer active.
The archive contains images from the gallery opening on Sept. 30, 2005 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.

BigBro Cruft
10.bigbro.jpg created 09/30/05 at 22:31
View the archive of BigBro Cruft

Updated at 2:23 AM & PM EST
An image from FOXNews.com is downloaded and processed and using the text of a daily biblical verse parsed from the Biblegateway.com website a composite image is created.

Imprimatur Cruft
11.imprimatur.jpg created 01/07/08 at 02:23
View the most recent Imprimatur Cruft

Updated at 8:38 AM EST.
This cruft algorithm extracts an image from the United States Navy site (www.navy.mil) which is then combined with a "Babe of the Day" image on The-Jokes (www.the-jokes.com/) website. The colors are intensified and the composite image is then created.

Wanton Cruft
12.wanton.jpg created 01/07/08 at 08:38
View the most recent Wanton Cruft

Updated at 2:31, 5:31, 8:31, & 11:31 AM & PM EST
This cruft process downloads an image from the Arabic website "Asharq Alawsat" (http://www.asharq-e.com/). From one hundred official Crayola Crayon™ colors, one is selected and a composite image is created.

Crayon Cruft
13.crayon.jpg created 12/17/07 at 17:31
View the most recent Crayon Cruft

Updated at 43 minutes past the hour
This cruft algorithm extracts images from the United States Air Force site (www.af.mil) which are then combined with images from Internet sex sites. The images are manipulated and a composite is then created.

Babylon Cruft
14.babylon.jpg created 09/12/06 at 02:43
View the most recent Babylon Cruft

Updated at 2:36, 5:36, 8:36, & 11:36 AM & PM EST
This algorithm downloads from the Internet a recent gun that has been placed on sale. A composite is then created from this source image.

Guns Cruft
15.guns.jpg created 01/07/08 at 08:36
View the most recent Guns Cruft

IDOLS CRUFT (schadenfreude)
Updated at 4:28 AM & PM EST
This cruft algorithm downloads a recent celebrity photo, as well as the image headline. The source image is cropped and converted to sepia tone while the headline text is then added to complete this celebrity portrait.

Idols Cruft
16.idols.jpg created 10/03/07 at 16:28
View the most recent Idols Cruft

This cruft process is no longer active.
A collaboration with the Department of Defense produces this cruft by extracting a recent transcript and image from the government web site. (http://www.dod.mil/today/) This image is cropped and combined with a poem that is generated from the text of the transcript.

Prolefeed Cruft
17.prolefeed.jpg created 05/12/06 at 14:36
View the archive of Prolefeed Cruft

Updated at 9:21 AM EST
This cruft algorithm extracts images from the Word A Day website once every morning. The parsed word is then passed to several search engines returning results of images relating to the word. These images are then manipulated, enlarged, cropped and turned into monochromatic blue. The word is then pasted into the image in the upper left corner.

Word Cruft
18.word.jpg created 03/05/07 at 09:21
View the most recent Word Cruft

Updated at 5:38 AM EST
Working in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, I produce this cruft by processing recent information on the government web site, transforming text into a short poem.

Images from an online surveillance camera used to ensure our safety makes a record of all activity. These surveillance images are processed into a video and the poem becomes the scrolling text along the bottom to create this Panopticon Cruft.

Panopticon Cruft
19.panopticon.flv created 01/06/08 at 05:38    approx. 3 minutes
View the most recent Panopticon Cruft

Scape Cruft (ebb)
Updated at 3:38 AM EST
This cruft processes images from a California beach throughout the day and part of the night. A digital video landscape is created capturing the ebb and flow of light and movement.

Scape Cruft
20.scape.flv created 01/08/08 at 03:38    approx. 2 minutes
View an archive of Scape Cruft

CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers

The relentless flow of information on the Internet that quickly becomes digital leftovers is examined by my art practice to reveal a relationship in which we don't simply consume media, but are also consumed by it. I explore the Internet as source material to be appropriated, taken apart, juxtaposed, and recycled by writing computer code that is automated and runs on a 24/7 schedule producing a form of collage I call Cruft. The resulting artwork allows me to investigate broader issues of originality, authorship, reproduction and temporality.

In response to the intense pace and constant change happening online, my art practice includes a slower and thoughtful method of applying traditional media such as charcoal, paint, wax and ink, to prints of selected Cruft images. These analog images are created over longer periods of time resulting in a meditative process that subverts the goals of speed, spectacle and distraction, offering an opportunity for slower looking and deeper thinking compared to the crushing overload of an endless stream of Cruft produced by automated computer processes.

The Internet has the ability to provide freedom by connecting us at great distances, democratizing the world's knowledge, and facilitating disruption and resistance to systems of power. It can also simultaneously provide control by restricting and regulating our thoughts and actions while propagating fear, divisiveness, surveillance and repression. My art practice delves into the very nature of the Internet, pulling at it’s strengths and exposing the flaws, producing what has been coined Post-Internet art, that by definition references the "network" that we all inhabit, and ultimately, it's effects on our society and culture.

Robert Spahr
Carbondale, IL
August 2018