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Wounded Healer Cruft (akin)

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Wounded healer is an archetypal dynamic that psychologist Carl Jung used to describe a phenomenon that may take place, both positively and negatively, in the relationship between analyst and analysand.

For Jung, "a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor's examining himself...it is his own hurt that gives a measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician." Latterly, the term has expanded from Jung’s original concept to cover the study of any professional healer who has been wounded, including counselors, psychotherapists, doctors and nurses.

Mythological origins
In Greek mythology, the centaur Chiron was known as the "Wounded Healer", having been poisoned by one of Hercules's arrows; but because he wasn't able to heal himself he suffered thereafter from an incurable wound.

It is also possible that Jung derives the term "wounded healer" from the ancient Greek legend of Asclepius, a physician who in identification of his own wounds creates a sanctuary at Epidaurus in order to treat others. By contrast, Apollo Medicus subverted the folklore of the wounded healer, in so far as it was not his own suffering which empowered him to heal.

— Wounded healer. (2013, January 26). In, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:36, February 10, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wounded_healer&oldid=535032106


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