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Data Loss Cruft (Corruption)

This cruft algorithm downloads a recent photo from the Whitehouse.gov website as well as a report published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism listing U.S. covert drone war casualty estimates. The text file of casualty estimates is literally inserted into the binary code of The White House photo. The drone war information becomes hidden from view, but corrupts the image producing visual distortion often referred to as a glitch. This work uses digital leftovers, consisiting of information either usually forgotten, or in the case of the drone war information, it is usually hidden, and in the process this cruft re-generates a new image by altering the data, which then reminds us of it's origin.

Covert Drone War Casualty Estimates

Casualty estimates Reported deaths and injuries Pakistan 2004 onwards US Drone Strikes Our complete Pakistan datasheet Most recent strike: May 21 2016 Total strikes: 424 Obama strikes: 373 Total killed: 2,499-4,001 Civilians killed: 424-966 Children killed: 172-207 Injured: 1,161-1,744 Yemen 2002 onwards US Covert Action Our complete Yemen datasheet Most recent strike: April 28 2016 Confirmed drone strikes: 119-139 Total killed: 534-779 Civilians killed: 65-101 Children killed: 8-9 Injured: 95-224 Possible extra drone strikes: 88-105 Total killed: 351-503 Civilians killed: 26-61 Children killed: 6-9 Injured: 78-105 Other covert operations: 15-78 Total killed: 203-436 Civilians killed: 68-102 Children killed: 26-28 Injured: 45-132 Somalia 2007 onwards US Covert Action Our complete Somalia datasheet Most recent strike: May 12 2016 Drone strikes: 25-29 Total killed: 218-382 Civilians killed: 3-10 Children killed: 0-2 Injured: 2-8 Other covert operations: 9-13 Total killed: 59-141 Civilians killed: 7-47 Children killed: 0-2 Injured: 11-21 Afghanistan 2015 onwards Our complete Afghanistan datasheet Most recent strike: May 22 2016 Bureau data Total strikes: 315-320 Total killed: 1,495-1,988 Civilians killed: 75-103 Children killed: 4-18 Injured: 163-169 USAF data Missions with at least one weapon release: 178 Total weapons released: 362 For more on the difference between US and Bureau data, read the notes page of our Afghanistan datasheet.

Casualty Estimates, CIA Drone Strikes. Retrieved from

Further Resources

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
The Bureau pursues journalism which is of public benefit. They undertake in depth research into the governance of public, private and third sector organisations and their influence. They make their work freely available under a Creative Commons licence.

Covert Drone War provides a full dataset of all known US drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. This analysis has changed the public’s understanding of US actions and revealed that under Obama over 3,000 people, including nearly 500 civilians, have been killed by drones. The findings have been used widely in media outlets including the New York Times, Pakistan’s Dawn, and the BBC. In 2013 the Drones team won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, was invited to give evidence to the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones and was commended by Jamie Shea, assistant deputy general secretary, NATO and Christof Heyns, United Nations special rapporteur on extra judicial killings.

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.