American, born 1984
Josh Begley is a data artist who appropriates publicly available satellite imagery to create provocative images of socio-political systems. In 2015, during Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency Josh Begley created his short film “Best of Luck With the Wall” which was produced by the Academy Award-winning director Laura Poitras, and is composed from 200,000 satellite images downloaded from Google Maps via an algorithm designed by Begley which generated high resolution images of the border between the United States and Mexico.
For his 2014 series Prison Map and Empire.is, Begley wrote a software program that captured from the web data-driven extremely high-resolution images of 4,916 prison facilities and close to 625 military bases. The satellite views are at once painterly and abstract, while dense with photographic information. Begley’s images examine our prison and military systems, entities that are largely visually hidden.
Begley is also known for creating Drones+, an iPhone app designed to send users a notice every time a drone strike was reported in the news. Now known as Metadata+, it was rejected from the App Store five times due to “excessively objectionable or crude content,” before being accepted by Apple in 2014.
Begley’s work has appeared in New York Magazine, the New York Times, NPR, Wired Magazine, The Atlantic and exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.