Spam Words

Projector, computer, audio equipment Dimensions & duration variable

Around 2004, I began noticing pseudo-random words appearing at the foot of spam emails I received. I realised these were actually carefully selected words, included to deceive spam-filters into allowing these messages through. Over several years I collected a few thousand of these words and phrases.

I found this a really interesting statement on how advertising can infect and subvert normal human communication and semantics with a kind of pseudo-random, aggressive, and vaguely malignant “noise”.

Designed for large-scale indoor projection, I have written custom software to continuously, randomly pair these words with 4 random musical tones to create a chord which may be harmonious or discordant. The effect is a highly charged, infinitely changing emotional space in which the viewer’s mind struggles to construct meaning and significance in a completely randomised condition. Much like our entire experience of life.

The video to the right shows a two minute capture of an ever-changing real-time piece.

More art »