You Shall Be Spam

You Shall Be Spam


Developing visual methodologies that care for Image Waste & Digital Debris

It is well known that globally we produce a huge amount of physical garbage but the fact that we also generate an enormous quantity of digital image debris is discussed much less. Every day millions of photographic images are produced, shared, ignored, discarded, and forgotten. Many of these images — along with their embedded metadata — end up in the cloud, where image optimisation scripts and algorithms create even greater number of copies, cropping and processing information such as faces, buildings and addresses through machine learning. All this hidden data synchronises and bounces between devices and servers across unknown geographies, accumulating increasingly more detailed patterns of human behaviour. You Shall Be Spam is a semester-long project with third-year graphic design students from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. They developed novel methods, formats, narratives, and an exhibition by researching, re-using, and transforming their own image waste and digital debris into critical reflections. You shall be Spam is an initiative of IMD and Image class guided by tutors Hannes Bernard and Katrin Korfmann, who are members of the KABK Design and the Deep Future research group.


Exhibition: June 29 & 30, 2021

Maakhaven Calandkade 157 2521 AZ Den Haag


Exhibition title borrowed from Hito Steyerl's essay Digital Debris.

Exhibition Catalogue

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. Kindly contact the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague regarding any form of use or reproduction of photographs and any material in this publication. Although every effort has been made to find the copyright holders of all the illustrations used, this proved impossible in some cases. Interested parties are requested to contact the publisher.

© 2021