“Glitch off the Boat”
Names of Group Members
Sarah Ling, Shaina Goel & Johnny Rafter
Glitching a scene from a film of the Silent-Classic Cinema Era. The scene will be glitched and eventually, with every loop, the footage will deteriorate. The specific scene that will be chosen will focus on negative representations of Asians and Asian-Americans.
The movies that are options for glitching include Daughter of the Dragon (1931) and The Cheat (1915). One scene of one of these movies will be glitched while the other movie will provide glitched frames to accompany our digital installation. The installation will be one monitor silently playing the glitched scene on loop complemented by prints of the glitched frames.
Our project is meant to comment on representations of Asians and Asian-Americans in Classic Hollywood Cinema. Many of these films represent Asian and Asian-American men as sexually aggressive to white women and Asian and Asian-American women as evil characters, often passive and inferior to the white male.
Glitch is used to critique the construction of Asian female characters in Western cinema as the “oriental, exoticized, hyper sexualized and passive femme”. These artificial and problematic representations of Asian women are an anomaly, a “glitch” of reality and the fictionalized white-washed cinematic world. They can never fit in due to their difference in culture. They were designed to be excluded from Western Society. Moreover, the conflict in our project is the problematic representations of these racial groups in Classic Hollywood Cinema. Our hope is to dramatize, through glitch, these portrayals in an effort to highlight their mere ridiculousness and offensiveness.
Based off of the idea of Glitch/Queer Feminism, Glitch is a tool used to reject the binary of the East and the West, the Orient and the Occident, the white and the Other. Also as a tool for reclaiming Asian identities. Rejecting “glitch dualism” for playing into binaries of real and virtual that “parallel rampantly socialized figuration of male/female”, and in our case, the west/east, occidental/oriental, white/other.
“This glitch I speak of here calls for a breaking from the hegemony of a “structured system” infused with the pomp and circumstance of patriarchy, one that for all too long has marginalized female-identified bodies, and continues to offend our sensibilities by giving us only a piece of the pie and assuming our satisfaction. We want to claim for ourselves permanent seats at the table, an empowered means of demarcating space that can be possessed by us in entirety, a veritable “room of [our] own” that, despite the strides made via feminist political action, has yet to truly belong to us.” -Digital Dualism and the Glitch Feminism Manifesto
When exiting our installation, we hope to inspire viewers to question the way in which film can perpetuate and feed racial stereotypes by providing a space of in depth and critical analysis.