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sift cruft

Sift Cruft (after snowden)

This cruft images is created using a sequence of images captured from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras watching commuters cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The algorithm searches for an area of suspicion, which is then highlighted by a white circle. These images are collected morning and evening, at the times most suspicious activity occurs.

Report Suspicious Activity: Stay alert. Be aware. Speak up

At The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, your safety is our top priority.

We've added new state-of-the-art camera and surveillance equipment and installed specialized detection and emergency notification systems. We have one of the largest law enforcement canine units in the U.S. We're continually gathering intelligence from multiple sources, and work closely with our regional transportation partners and law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

Remember, if you see suspicious activity or packages while you're traveling through Port Authority facilities, pick up the phone and report it. It's our job to check it out and to keep you safe! Stay alert. Be aware. Speak up.

Report suspicious activity by calling the Port Authority Police at 800-828-PAPD (7273). You can download the 800# from your mobile device using the smartphone application available above.

— Report Suspicious Activity. (n.d.). In, The Port Authority of NY & NJ. Retrieved July 22, 2013, from http://www.panynj.gov/police/report-suspicious-activity.html

Further Resources


http://www.panynj.gov/police/report-suspicious-activity.html


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