Home / Work / Load (Obama)

Load (Obama) Cruft

This CRUFT is the result of my consuming and digesting the words of President Barak Obama as well as the associated images offered up by the Internet. This algorithm begins by downloading the transcript from Obama's weekly video address, and passing his individual words as search terms into Altavista Image Search. The results are processed using a genetic algorithm that allows photographs with less color to be more likely to survive, causing the the images and text to slowly break down and gradually fade to black.

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

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.