Panopticon Cruft (fragments)
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.
Mission Statement: Department of Homeland Security
Homeland Security Act of 2002
Title I - Department of Homeland Security
Sec. 101. Executive Department; Mission
- (a) Establishment. - "There is established a Department of Homeland Security, as an executive department of the United States within the meaning of title 5, United States Code.
- (b) Mission
- (1) In General. - The primary mission of the Department is to
- (A) prevent terrorist attacks within the United States;
- (B) reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; and
- (C) minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States."
From the Homeland Security Act of 2002
Read the entire text of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (PDF, 187 pages - 526 KB).
CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers
My art practice explores 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 auto-generated collage I call Cruft. The resulting digital artwork allows me to investigate broader issues of traditional concepts—such as originality, creativity, authorship and eternal value. This work examines the relentless flow of information on the Internet that quickly becomes digital leftovers to reveal a relationship in which we don't simply consume media, but are also consumed by it.
In response to the intense pace and constant change happening online, my art practice also includes a slower and thoughtful method of applying traditional media such as charcoal, paint, wax and ink, to prints of selected Cruft images. These mixed-media 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 automated Cruft.
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 artwork 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.
My art is a personal inquiry into fundamental questions about our values, ideas, fears and dreams. I am interested in how the humanities and technology shape our individuality and communities, and how the arts and humanities can inspire us to ask who we are and what our lives might mean.