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Load (Limbaugh) Cruft

This CRUFT is the result of my consuming and digesting the words of Rush Limbaugh as well as the associated images offered up by the Internet. This algorithm begins by downloading daily quotes from Limbaugh's talk radio show, and passing his individual words as search terms into Altavista Image Search. The results are processed using a genetic algorithm, creating a daily cruft of incendiary text and image.

Cook On Cannabilism
This custom of eating their enemies slain in battle (for I firmly believe they eat the flesh of no others) has undoubtedly been handed down to them from earliest times; and we know it is not an easy matter to wean a nation from their ancient customs, let them be ever so inhuman and savage; especially if that nation has no manner of connexion or commerce with strangers...

...For, said they, ‘Can there be any harm in eating our enemies, whom we have killed in battle? Would not those very enemies have done the same to us?’ I have often seen them listen to Tapia with great attention, but I never found his arguments have any weight with them. When Oedidee and several of our people showed their abhorrence of it, they only laughed at them.
~ Captain Cook

A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 by Robert Kerr
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/13381

Further Resources

American Dream Cycle (Payload)
The code and concepts used in this work was originally developed for American Dream Cycle (Payload), presented at the Generative Art International Conference, GA2009, at the Politecnico di Milano University, Milan, Italy in December of 2009.

Load (Obama) Cruft
Similar algorithms and concepts were used to create Load (Obama) Cruft, which consumes and digests the works of President Barak Obama.


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