Ben Valentine

Post image for The Politics of Prisons: Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz

SAN FRANCISCO — Stepping into a dingy and suffocatingly small cell, you’re immersed in an intense soundscape of horns and the chanting of Tibetan monks. It’s overwhelming, and as the noise builds and bounces around the cold cement room, you wonder if this is akin to the feeling of being trapped inside the space for days on end.

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Post image for The Radical Power of Classified Pop Music

Ever since Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which the NSA and others have encroached on our privacy, everyone from technologists, reporters, politicians, and voters have been engaging in an international debate around surveillance.

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Post image for An Artist Draws the Women of the War on Terror

Artist Sofia Niazi is a Londoner, born and raised. But in a post-9/11 world, Niazi has been troubled by how her city and her country have changed, by how people in her community are being treated.

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Post image for Net Neutrality Is Crucial for Artists and Arts Organizations

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) closed its public comment period on the issue of net neutrality earlier this week, the agency counted more than 3 million comments, the greatest volume of such input in its history.

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Articles

A New Media Artist Looks to Iranian Spam

by Ben Valentine on September 3, 2014

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Completed in June, “Like Pearls” in as an animated and interactive web-based collage inspired by Farsi spam from Morehshin Allahyari’s inbox.

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Post image for The First 100 Years of Camera Advertising

Ever since the invention of photography, we’ve been deeply fascinated by cameras and the images they produce.

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Post image for Copying an eBook from Cover to Cover

Artist Jesse England’s piece “E-Book Backup” (2014) is a literal copy — a photocopy, from cover to cover — of a Kindle version of George Orwell’s 1984.

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Interviews

Computers Watching Movies

by Ben Valentine on June 13, 2014

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Ben Grosser’s work is all about how software permeates and affects much of our lives. As we begin to realize the extent to which we rely on algorithms for major societal functions such as search engine results, stock trading, mass surveillance, and more, our focus remains on what the machines are doing for us humans.

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Post image for Jon Rafman’s Not-So-Still Life of a Digital Betamale

“As you look at the screen, it is possible to believe you are gazing into eternity,” says an absent, artificial female voice in the beginning of Jon Rafman’s NSFW “Still Life (Betamale)” (2013) video.

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Reactor

F*#!k Graffiti

by Ben Valentine on June 4, 2014

Post image for F*#!k Graffiti

As with many things in life, I made an animated GIF to help cope with an uninspired “fuck” graffiti epidemic.

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