Home / Work / Distress

distress cruft

Distress Cruft (my fellow americans)

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."

View: Distress Cruft U.S. Postage Stamp (Self-Portrait)

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.