Sucker for Spam (even though I’m a Vegetarian)

Some slavic language
Same slavic language but translated into English

Now, imagine the spam above used to create art.

A few posts back, I shared a performance/video art based on spam messaging. This time around, I wanted to post about artist, Alex Dragulescu. He’s been featured on c|net and USA Today. His art has been around for some time but it’s so àpropos considering my recent obsession fascination with the messages filtered as spam via my (blog) comments inbox. Spam is spam but every now and again, I receive a message I’m convinced some artist has remixed into something quite interesting. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that an artist has already done this. Dragulescu re-imagines and contextualizes what is virtually useless but potentially malicious to the common end-user. From computer viruses to intricate coding, his work turns spam messaging into a commentary on language, computational processing, and data visualization.

The following artworks created by Dragulescu (click on the images to learn more about him and his work). Specifically, the images below were generated from the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) values contained in spam messaging.

Spam Plant by Alex Dragulescu ~ Image Source: Artist Website
Spam Plant by Alex Dragulescu ~ Image Source: Artist Website
Spam Plant by Alex Dragulescu ~ Image Source: Artist Website

Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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