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Red Queens Race (surveillance machine)

This is a performance piece that uses computer code, that scraps recent text from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's blog. The text is sorted, common words are removed, and each remaining word is passed to Yahoo! Image Search. The resulting images are dowloaded. An audio file plays, which is spoken word from the book "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind." My web camera is on, and my image is shown on the desktop. As the audio plays, one of the downloaded images pops up, which I then close. These images continue to appear in pop up windows. The code creates a screenshot, which I then drag to the bottom of the screen. More images are downloaded and opened onto my desktop. I continue to try to close the windows. A second and third audio file of the same spoken word begins to play. More images open. More screenshots are created. More audio files play. I attempt to close the images as they are opened, but over time, the speed increases, and eventually as more of the same audio files begin to play, my entire desktop is overtaken. The race ends when the entire 8 gigs of computer memory is full, as hundreds of images and audio files are opened until, out of memory, the screen goes black and the machine stops in one long slow meditative hum.

Presented for the first time at the International Generative Art Conference, GA2011, Rome, Italy in December of 2011, and at Brown University for the Interupt II conference, as well as SIU's Big Muddy Film Festival both in 2012.

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Red Queens Race (surveillance machine)