Master By Project: Tiny Infectious Agents

Posted on Posted in MA Creative Media Arts

Viruses are tiny infectious agents which invade our lives digitally and physically. Physically they invade our bodies aiming to survive and live by destroying and invading cells, this is where the host is to fight off the virus. The cells parts are transforming, moving and rotating being forced around by the virus where it is attempting to modify them. The virus spreads from host to host via a contaminant, infecting more host moving within the contaminated area. Different hosts appear and reappearing slightly different and modified each time depending on the host and strain. The virus defends against antibodies where it reacts by mutating, changing and deforming to suit. If it resists the antibody attack it could become a new more difficult virus for the host to defend against. Meaning the host could require additional external help from drugs or other methods of extraction.

The viruses goal is multiplication and survival within a host cell, depending on the viruses strain a range of different outcomes for the host are possible. Depending on the strength of the host virus can cause continues damage to the cell inevitably killing the host.

The Goal of the project:

Considering the huge rise of cyber ubiquity and integrating the use of technology within every aspect of our lives, I fear we are losing touch with reality. The reality outside our screens is much more beautiful and diverse. Through science humans only understand a tiny snippet off this expansive landscape of complex interactions. Displaying these man made entities in a more relatable and understandable form of imagery, I aim to give substance and meaning to the dangers and processes of digital viruses.

The goal of this project has been to investigate digital virology by artistically exploring the process using light and motion. Digital viruses have been on the rise ever since our lives have become more impacted by digital technology. With the rise in complex electronic technologies and ease of access the digital lives we live have come more under threat. We are constantly challenged by new and more advanced methods of attack. These owe many traits to biological viruses which as discussed exploit weaknesses within venerable host and cells.

Digital and biological viruses both have a similar goal, survival. Survival for the virus’s creator in a tangible world is a financial benefit, his survival is based off a capitalist need and desire to prosper through the downfall of hosts (the users) and cells (devices). He does this through a methodical process of harvesting information, capturing data and controlling the movement of our now essential devices.

We see this with some of the most recent large digital attacks which took hold of government and healthcare data, requiring ransomed money in exchange for the return of information. On a smaller scale phishing scams, malicious malware and keychain harvesting go on constantly which is only getting worse. The rise of fake news and other social media infections comes as another digital virus becoming more apparent and a recent trend.

This video below is a small mock up of the current installation with a few modification from the previous version.