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Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
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Works of Art: Cybersecurity Inspires 6 Winning Ideas

The Center for Long Term Cybersecurity recently awarded grants to six artists in a contest to come up with ideas for works with security themes and elements. Check 'em out.

'between systems and selves,' by Caroline Sinders

Malware as a source of creative inspiration and artistic choices? Artist Caroline Sinders will use Mirai and other malicious code to help determine shapes and colors of a series of "poetic sculptures" she'll create with her CLTC grant.

Sinders' project will analyze various malware against a series of parameters that then get translated into structures that will make up the sculpture, which could exist as mobiles that hang from a ceiling, for example. She imagines between 100 and 1,000 small sculptures made out of either metal or thin wood.

"So much of code plays with literal human words but uses technical processes that are hard to describe," Sinders explains. "An algorithm can do things, but why it does things is based in the math that is within the algorithm. Malware is a kind of technical algorithm in what it does." Sinders will thus attempt to make malware and algorithms "human readable" in the resulting sculptures.

Sinders wants viewers to see that technical systems can be rendered in beautiful, minimal ways. "Technical complexity doesn't always mean aesthetic complexity," she says. And since security and privacy affect everyone, "art can help translate and make certain fields or ideas feel more applicable and real to a general audience," Sinders adds. "Art can add poetry to space that has felt cold, mechanical, distant or confusing."

In other words, a perfect addition for every data center and SOC out there.

(Image: Caroline Sinders)

Terry Sweeney is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered technology, networking, and security for more than 20 years. He was part of the team that started Dark Reading and has been a contributor to The Washington Post, Crain's New York Business, Red Herring, ... View Full Bio
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