Alex Dragulescu

Alex Dragulescu is a Romanian visual artist whose practice embraces both traditional and new media. His projects are experiments and explorations of algorithms, computational models, simulations and information visualizations that involve data derived from databases, spam emails, blogs and video game assets. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions worldwide in Madrid, Venice, Florence, Rome, Seoul, Sao Paolo, St Petersburg, La Habana, Arad, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki and the Biennial of Young Artists, Bucharest. In 2005, his software agent Blogbot, won the IBM New Media Award at the Stuttgart Festival for Expanded Media in Germany.

He has a BS in Cinema and Photography from Ithaca College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from University of California at San Diego. In September 2007, Dragulescu left the Experimental Game Lab + Center for Research in Computing and the Arts at UC San Diego and is now a researcher in the Social Media Group at the MIT Media Lab.

The images from the Spam Architecture series are generated by a computer program that accepts junk email as input. Various patterns, keywords and rhythms found in the text are translated into three-dimensional modeling gestures.

Most people want to avoid spam and viruses, which is exactly why MIT Media Lab's grad Alex Dragulescu spins the net's detritus into art.

E-mail security company MessageLabs commissioned Dragulescu to visualize the threats the company finds in the 3 million messages it scans daily. Dragulescu used algorithms to find recurring patterns in the source code of viruses and Trojans and then fed the results into a visualization algorithm.

The only manipulation involved was color-coding, setting the virtual position of the camera, and some lighting effects. The project lives somewhere between pure art and information visualization, Dargulescu says.

Alex Dragulescu's website

Alex Dragulescu's AutoGallery exhibit