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Rupture Cruft (Drone Study #2)

This cruft image is created by regularly downloading and processing an image from the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

I visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the summer of 2013, and climbed the tallest sand dunes in North America, which rise about 750 feet. It was impressive to experience landscape that was in constant motion, like standing in a river as it rises and falls away. The metaphor of digital leftovers flowing through the network came to mind. Grains of sand not unlike digital images streaming past. This cruft image captures snapshots of this moving landscape, and processes them in a way that the motion of the landscape is slowed down. Looking at the image archive one can feel the motion at a new temporal pace. The power of the Great Sand Dunes National Park is that one can experience erosion at an accelerated speed and at a visceral level, as the sands and rocks are blown literally into ones skin.

The Rupture Cruft images are studies for the larger project Machine Vision: Images of Drone Landscapes.

CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers

My work includes traditional art practices in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Recent work includes generative art, performance, installation, and network based art. My arts practice explores the Internet not just as a distribution platform but 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. Computer code is automated and runs on a server which at specified times goes out to the Internet and scrapes source material from the web to then produce a form of digital collage. Each auto-generated Cruft is the digital residue created from the information flowing through the Internet at that moment. This work is then automatically uploaded to my web site for distribution to the viewing public. My work on Cruft has encouraged me to think about the nature of the unique art object and it’s dematerialization, from atoms to bits, allowing for potentially infinite copies.

Misdirection as Mass Deception
Like the magician performing sleight-of-hand to deceive and misdirect the eye, those in power tell us where to look and what to think. The mass media provides the stage where the deception unfolds focusing public attention with emotion and fear. Having been in lower Manhattan on September 11th 2001, I experienced first hand the collision of terrorism and warfare into the visual, resulting in our network connected screens compressing the time between living and documenting an event. The media showed images of the planes impact and the buildings collapse in a repetitive loop. Our screens became weapons of terror, the system of representation was hijacked and we were forced to relive those terrifying moments by viewing images presented as a never ending present. In 2003, as the United States invaded Iraq, I began to notice how the media presented images that contributed to fear and consensus, and as the images disappeared from view, I wondered what became of these digital leftovers and I then started creating auto-generated Cruft.