The Multi-Cultural Recycler

The Multi-Cultural Recycler (1996/7)

The Multi-Cultural Recycler was a net art project that performs image processing and compositing on live images pulled from Web cameras around the world, in a tongue-in cheek commentary on cultural recycling and cyberspace.

The Multi-Cultural Recycler image

The Multi-Cultural Recycler ran from 1996 to 2015. The scripting was a hacked together amalgam of various Perl and shell scripts that sent images to the back end of a piece of 1990’s Silicon Graphics compositing software called Eddie. As of 2015 The Recycler was running on a 1996 SGI that still had a copy of Eddie, but that machine and The Recycler met their end when a water main break flooded my studio. However, you can watch shaky video documentation of The Recycler. The video capture was done in the Recycler’s “heyday” in 1997, so the quality is lousy. But it shows a bit of what the project was like when it Recycled the webcams of the mid-90’s. They tended to have a character you don’t usually find nowadays…