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Viral Dissonance

FLEFF

Jury Special Mention: Data Loss Cruft (Corruption) and Cliff Dwellers (Drone Study #4)

Cliff Dwellers (Drone Study #4) by Robert Spahr

Data Loss Cruft (Corruption)

Robert Spahr, 2013-present

Cliff Dwellers (Drone Study #4)

Robert Spahr, 2013-present

Spahr’s Cruft series are auto-generative works that harvest images from web sites. The hacker term “cruft” refers to unpleasant substances, superfluous junk, and redundant or superseded code. Data Loss Cruft (Corruption) inserts the text code from a report on casualties from covert drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen by the United States into the code for a photograph from Whitehouse.gov. File corruption occurs at the level of the image, revealing what is silenced and erased from official accounts of the U.S. state and its foreign policy, particularly civilian deaths. Comparably, Cliff Dwellers (Drone Study #4) harvests images form a CCTV camera in New York, as part of larger project Drone Landscapes: Images of Machine Vision on the hidden technologies and algorithms that constitute a machine vision of the world.

Robert Spahr (United States) is a visual artist, computer programmer, activist, and educator, who produces computational art using generative and procedural processes; digital and analog images; objects; live art and time-based media. He makes visual art from the digital leftovers produced by the mainstream media and those left behind on social networking sites, and scattered across the web. Work from Spahr’s Crufts was also included in the ubuntu.kuqala exhibition for FLEFF 2008.