David R. Gruber's New Media Projects

Auto Censor Project

This is a Processing project designed to automatically and randomly censor uploaded pdfs. In this video, I (computer, code, networks, etc.) censor a page from 'The Quadruple Object' by Graham Harman.

I chose this text because Harman discusses Object Oriented Ontology, exploring how objects recede from view. He asserts that we have an inability to 'touch' or 'see' or comprehend the totality of objects. (In this interview, Harman extends his ideas to design.)

Here, the Processing code hides itself from view while exposing some of its aspects in the production of the black censorship bars; in reverse, the text - entangled with digital materiality - reveals a hidden aspect of itself in being censored even while we might have thought that we were previously seeing the 'whole' text prior to any censorship. But we realize now that we were not because the text is also code/d. (Other aspects of the text withdraw from us as well.) In this way, both text and code, to some extent, remain inaccessible.

This is a visualization or performance of Harman's ideas. It could also be understood as a glimpse of an inherent blindness that comes with the operations of systems, a sort of censorship production inherent to the processes enabling existence - shown here in the most blatant form, as actual 'censorship.'