Robert Spahr


CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers
Under the umbrella concept of Cruft, these Sabot collages are created by scraping the web using computational algorithms that remix images from mainstream media news sites in Philadelphia and reproduce, in mimicry of the 24/7 media cycle, the narrow choices permitted in public discourse. 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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Move is a Philadelphia-based black liberation group founded by John Africa. A major incident occurred in 1978, when the police raided their Powelton Village home. This raid resulted in the imprisonment of nine group members, now known as the "MOVE 9." In 1985 the group made national news when police dropped a bomb on the Osage house from a helicopter in an attempt to end an armed standoff. The explosion and ensuing fire killed 11 people.

Quilts of the Underground Railroad
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The slave quilt code is the idea that African American slaves used quilts to communicate information about how to escape to freedom. The idea was introduced and popularized throughout the 1990s. Most quilt scholars and historians consider the "code" to be completely lacking any basis in fact.


I make visual art from the digital leftovers produced by the main stream media as well as the digital leftovers we create as individuals left behind on social networking sites, and scattered across the web. I write automated computer programs that collect these digital leftovers by scraping them from the web, and remixing them into a digital collage, sometimes these digital leftovers become an image, a video, or text-based poetry. I call this work 'Cruft', which is a computer hacker term defined as an unpleasant substance; excess; superfluous junk; and redundant or superseded computer code.

International: InterArtive, Culture + Urban Space, Issue #65, Barcelona, Spain 2014; Hz Journal #19, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014; Generative Art International Conference, Milan, Italy 2013; Generative Art International Conference, Lucca, Italy 2012; iV2012, Digital Art Gallery, an Int'l Conference on Information Visualization, Univ. Montpellier II, Montpellier, France; Generative Art International Conference, Rome, Italy 2011; iV2011, Digital Art Gallery, an Int'l Conference on Information Visualization, London, England 2011; Nictoglobe Online Magazine: Friction Research Issue #4 (Reclaim the Mind), Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2011; Generative Art International Conference, Milan, Italy 2010; DRHA 2010 Conference: Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts, London, England, 2010; Generative Art International Conference, Milan, Italy 2009; Computer Art Congress 2008, CAC.2, Mexico City and Toluca City, Mexico, 2008; Media Exchange 2, VT Art Salon, as part of the ACIA, Taipei, Taiwan 2008; Generative Art Conference, Milan, Italy 2007; Online Gallery D-ART 2006, London, England and the CGIV 2006, Sydney, Australia; Trampoline Event #19, Nottingham, United Kingdom; 6th International Salon of Digital Art, Havana, Cuba.

National: PRISM Breakup @ Eyebeam, NY, NY; ReFest / Art+Tech Festival 2013, organized by CultureHub at La Mama, NY, NY; Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art, Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT 2013; Interrupt II Festival and Conference - Brown University, Providence RI 2012; From Atoms to Bits: Traces From Inside Plato's Cave, Peer reviewed essay accepted for publication. INPA1, International Photography Annual 1, exhibition-in-print, Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH 2012; 10 Years + Counting (10YAC), an online exhibit to mark the 10 year anniversary of our nation at war, September 2011; SOS ART, Creative Expressions for Peace and Justice, 2011; "Urban Interventions", at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, University of Cincinnati; "ubuntu.kuqala" an online digital media/art/video exhibition curated by Dale Hudson & Sharon Lin Tay, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca College; "Adding Insult to Imagery? Artistic Responses to Censorship and Media" at Indiana University of Pennsylvania which then traveled to Central Missouri State University; recent edition of the refereed on-line journal; Solo show 'CRUFT' at Manifest Gallery; festival and symposium "2006 Perform.Media"