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Benjamin Gaulon - Corrupt

01:11:45, 2011, Video Art
Corrupt™ is a web based Glitch Art Software allowing its user to upload and share corrupted images on www.corrupt.recyclism.com

This single-channel video is the collection of uploaded images on corrupt.recyclism.com since 2005. The video of 1:11:45 minutes includes 107,175 corrupted images uploaded by thousands of different people from 2005 to 2011. Each image uploaded and corrupted at corrupt.recyclism.com is unique - an individual story. However, once those 107,175 corrupted images are combined what emerges is a story, in a way, of the entire internet. This video was made with the Corruptimator™ by Brian Solon.
DirectorBenjamin GaulonProducerRecyclismWriterBenjamin GaulonCameraCorruptimatorEditorCorruptimatorCrewBrian Solon

CountryIrelandEdition2011 ScreeningsGlitch Festival - Amsterdam - The Netherlands
Glitch Festival - Chicago - USA
DeFunct / ReFunct - Dublin - ireland
Upgrade! / dev/art - Paris - France
BYOB Paris - USER_FRIENDLY #3 (by Plateforme) - France
Filtering Failure - Amsterdam - The Netherlands
Old Media, New Media will become old - La Générale - Paris - France

< overview

Interview

Who is Benjamin Gaulon?
My research focuses on planned obsolescence, consumerism and disposable society through the exploration of hacking and recycling.

My projects can be software, installations, pieces of hardware, web based projects, interactive work.


What is Corrupt about?
Corrupt™ is a web based Glitch Art Software allowing its user to upload and share corrupted images on www.corrupt.recyclism.com

Corrupt™ was first built with Proce55ing (2004). The corruption process starts by reading the binary code of an image file [JPG or GIF]; then arbitrary bytes are swapped [the number of replacements is a random value from 1 to 20]. The file is then "saved as" a new document. Depending on the number of replacements and the original compression, the file will have a completely different and unpredictable image or aesthetic.

So from a single image, the program can generate millions of corrupted versions. Because it literally corrupts the binary code of the file, some of the results are so damaged that they are actually rendered unviewable. The project is now available online for anyone who wants to corrupt a JPG image.


How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
This single-channel video is the collection of uploaded images on corrupt.recyclism.com since 2005. The video of 1:11:45 minutes includes 107, 175 corrupted images uploaded by thousands of different people from 2005 to 2011.
This video was made with the Corruptimator™ by Brian Solon. Corruptimator™ is a bunch of Bash shell scripts loosely cobbled together in an attempt to simplify and automate the process of assembling a movie from five years’ worth of images generated by CORRUPT™.
My background is in Fine Art (Interactive Media).


Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
This project was initially a web based project allowing users to explore the limits and failures of technology, in particularly digital images. And hopefully by doing so, revealing the structure, the processes and coding behind an digital image, while experimenting with the aesthetic of failure

.

Exploring with Glitches is a way of breaking the paths in which individuals are initially guided to use a medium by other programmers, hardware developers, marketing directors, user interface designers, etc…

Secondly, the database

collected since 2005 is in itself what triggered the idea of making this video. Thousands of different people have been uploading and corrupting images on the website. Each image uploaded and corrupted at corrupt.recyclism.com is unique - an individual story. However, once those 107, 175 corrupted images are combined what emerges is a story, in a way, of the entire internet.

THE AESTHETICS OF FAILURE: ’Post-Digital’ Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music. Kim Cascone.

Database as a Symbolic Form, 1998, Lev Manovich


How long do you usually work on one project?
5 min to 5years


Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
For this project, it took some serious coding, from Brian Solon who built the tool to compile all the images into one video file. However I didn’t planned on making this video when I started the online project it came from the accumulation of much data.


How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
Corrupt is the online project, and the video as the same title. Corrupt comes from "image corruption".


Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
By making mostly.


How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
This movie is intended to be without any audio as it would go against the process of making it.


How does content relate to the form of your work?
The forms comes from the content itself.


What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored?
This project, I hope, is an example of the potential of a collaborative piece created by thousands of people online.
For film makers, artists, experimenters, internet is more than a diffusion tool, it can also be the based of the work itself, the source of material to remix, lead to collaborations, etc...


Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?
My first project was a net art project called digitalrecycling. Users may log on to the digitalrecycling operating system and either upload or download their own or other people’s digital trash. Corrupt came from this initial project.
Since then a lot of my work have been web based or are documented and formatted for the web.


Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
Art considering the context I usually show this piece.
About the difference between art and cinema, I think it has a lot to do with the context in which a work is presented.


How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?
To be honest I don’t believe anyone can watch the 1h11minute of this video in one time. It is actually not the point, only few minutes are enough. The frame rate makes it’s difficult, which I believe say something about the images overloaded societies we leave in.


What is your next project about?
Abstract Cinema using a Gameboy screen.


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