hi, i'm abram stern (aphid). here are some things i made (or helped make):
- oversight machines these are works in progress, both in the sense that these are unfinished, but also in that they perform and produce work. some of these correspond to chapters of my dissertation, techniques of oversight and [un]intelligibility 2002-2018 (a few small opacities). they run in the web browser, durationally if allowed, and sometimes produce findings in the form of media and metadata.
unburning a series of operative images that works to separate and decode burned-in metadata from FBI aerial surveillance of the 2015 Baltimore Uprising (prototype, firefox works better); featured at KQED arts; see also: Unburning: Technics of Opacity, Oversight, and the Police Surveillance State (2022)
- smallest procedural utterance subtracts frames of videos, using thresholds of difference to find camera changes in hearings from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. These camera changes correspond to speaker changes, thus generating a temporal map of discourse.
- operational character rendition performs ocr (optical character recognition) as an apophenic (mis)reading of unsearchable, low resolution documents published by the SSCI. Document analysis is performed, using dictionaries that include a list of watch words used by DHS analysts. Some video documentation here that you can seek through if durational net art is not your speed. findings here.
- overhearing (working title) identifies silences, gaps, and murmurs in spoken testimony, affect not encoded in the text versions of prepared remarks and official transcripts.
- overSSCIght, a web scraper for SSCI hearing media and metadata; it runs slowly, over TOR (originally developed within the USIC, later undermined by other parts of it), it occasionally gets blocked by the Senate's CDN provider. (code)
recent public talks
- Transforming Surveillance artist panel, w/Margaret Laurena Kemp, Ann Messner, Christopher Gregory-Rivera, Orphan Drift, and Brendan McQuade hosted by the ICA at Maine College of Art & Design.
- Seminar 4: Reimagining Protocols: Reclaiming, Challenging, and Queering Surveillance Feb 8 2021 at the Vera List Center, w/Margaret Laurena Kemp, Shaka McGlotten, and American Artist
- gone gone gone a news performance, internet archive captions search, speech-to-text, html5 video, 2018
- rashomon project multi-perspective chronology for contested events with CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative; demo; 02012+
- peer to pcast enables peer review of executive branch scientific testimony/presentations with Mark Deckert and Warren Sack; 02009-12
- metavid open archive of us legislative video with Michael Dale; 02005-11, see also
- ip collage additive IP address visualization (see also); 02002; 02009 (recode)
- charlie's ants participatory detournement; 02001 c/w: back in 2001 it was less obvious to me that if you asked internet strangers to contribute text to a project that much of that text would be really. horrible. these aren't my words, but i am still not feeling great about what's in here. i'm leaving it up for now, but may not maintain it the next time it breaks.