I forgot about the readings/blog post assignment, so sat through the discussion in class about the articles. Everyone seemed to think that there was a lack of substance in the readings in relation to glitch, which I agree with. The Parkhill article seemed to be arguing that the advertising of a single publication was in a sense a glitch of representation of a group of people who have been previously classified as a glitch in nature. The ideal HIV+ body presented as a muscular white male without any of the adverse side effects of the disease being shown functions as a glitch in judgment by the advertisers if anything. To classify a disease that affects people without discrimination with ads that promote a focus on one race and type of person seems to be less about glitch to me and more about a target audience of the publication. If the magazine in question was bought primarily by Black or Asian men I would assume that they would be represented. I believe that this article is attempting to present a case that is barely there.
The Russell article is exactly what everyone described in class; there is a presentation of “glitch feminism” which just seems to be talking about glitch in general and calls for action without giving any sort of plan on how to go about it. The thing that stood out to me the most were the comments in relation to porn actor James Deen. Because I am also enrolled in FAMST 154PG (Porn class) I am aware that this article written in 2012 has aged badly in using Deen as an example of porn actor that women seem to love. I believe that a few years ago Deen was outed by a former girlfriend/porn actress, as well as numerous other porn actresses for having raped them in different sexual encounters. While I am not aware of legal action taken towards him I do know that his career has nosedived. Can this presentation of the article with today’s knowledge of this formerly desireable performer be considered a glitch in some way? I know that this is only a small part of the article but did not find the rest of it useful in considering glitch studies. The video played in class was an infinitely more interesting presentation of queer glitch. It made me interested, uncomfortable and gave me a better understanding of the concept of queer glitch than either of the articles.
I had chosen this picture because I enjoyed how the cake was almost disintegrating before my eyes. Something so colorful and tasty was being swept away by the adjustment of numbers. Due to suggestions from Professor Sakr, I had come to the conclusion that I would take a happy song which could be associated with the whole cake, and glitch it in to some sort of electronic/industrial mishmash as had been done visually. As I began to experiment, I at first found it difficult to create my own original song to destroy. So I took a song called “Family Tree” by Jahzzar from the FMA and began to alter it while adding my voice saying “Cake”. Eventually I discovered how I could have gone about making my own song, but continued with what I had. The end result happened with the idea of turning a happy song and image in to something creepy and alarming. I learned a lot doing this, but still have not figured out how to permanently Embed the Soundcloud file on to my WordPress page. I have done it twice, but when I come back to look, it has reverted to text again.
I got off work early so that I could work on things that are due Monday morning. One such thing is a 1200 word blog post that I am doing right now. These first two sentences may seem to be simple filler in order to reach the necessary word count, but I feel that they are crucial to our group project. I only know a few things about it so far because our meeting about what exactly we are doing is tomorrow, and I will not be there. I had previously committed to capturing sound for a student produced film for the “Green Screen” class, a class that I am not enrolled in. This relates to our 109GA project in that our focus at the moment seems to be the juxtaposition of nature and technology. Based on mood boards produced by the others, they seem to want to discover some kind of deeper meaning in the advancement of technology by looking to the destruction of nature as a result of it. At least that is what I gathered from our brief encounter in the last ten minutes of class on Wednesday. The problem at that time was all of our differing opinions. One of us wanted to focus on our childhoods, another gave an idea about glitching politics, and the other person brought up nature. My only idea I believed of any merit was of creating a mood instead of focusing on a specific topic. With all of these ideas floating around eventually we came to the consensus of essentially computers and mother nature battling in some form or fashion. I guess things are not totally hashed out yet, but I feel like we are all satisfied with where this could lead. I guess I will finish this tomorrow after the meeting. Which brings me to why the first few lines of this paragraph are important. I am typing this on my laptop, riding the bus home from the Native American Casino that I work at. There are a number of things that come to mind in that sentence that relate to nature and technology having a conflict. The Native people have been chosen (or been forced) to embrace a form of technology in slot machines in order to gain their land back. I have worked at this casino for over ten years and have seen them do it. What relates to our project is that these people whose ancestors were here in the beginning and were assumed to be land owners were overtaken. Reduced to poverty until the United States government decided to allow them to turn patches of land in to casinos, these people (at least the ones I know) embraced technology in order to profit. And with that profit, the buy more land, and expand their business ventures. As a culture, I have always been taught that Native Americans have an unparalleled respect for nature, and have continued to see such efforts to preserve the environment by the company that I work for. I just wonder if the ramifications of the technology they use and the attention they attract will not ultimately be a detriment to their society, which is what I believe our project looks to portray in all of society. All of these computers and phones and what they give access to are fantastic ways to communicate for humans. The advancements keep coming, people become rich and famous, and everyone keeps buying. I’m typing homework on a bus right now. But in the end what will all of this stuff become? Our plan is to unlock something inside of technology and nature by glitching both together and revealing as another group member said some “deep shit”. At least that’s what I think we’re doing. I’m going to try to Skype in to the meeting tomorrow.
I was unable to Skype in, but definitely understand and agree with the concept that has been proposed. It is almost exactly what we had already discussed and what I had envisioned to a degree. The breaking down of technology through glitch and reaching its roots in nature is and vice versa is intriguing to me as to what we will find. I am excited not only but the subject, but by the techniques by which we will achieve such results. Our current plan is a video, which ideally will include music. While we have decided not to define roles as of yet, I am intrigued by the way in which glitching sound will enhance our project. I can imagine the glitches that can come from the sounds of nature being turned in to the digital noises programmed in to a computer, as well as the possibility of altering a digital computer sound in to something that resembles an animal or human voice. I believe that our video presentation will possibly blur the line between the two subjects in a way which will necessitate close dissection in order to differentiate between the two. I believe every bit of glitch art we have created in the course so far (and those we have yet to learn to create) will be put to use in this project. I am confident in my fellow group members, and am prepared to grow with them in this exercise.
Response to Articles:
Error, Noise, and Potential and Noisefloor gave me information on the ideas surrounding glitch that I had not known of before. Nunes and Krapp presented the idea of error in different ways, but also related the processes to things that I know of from my everyday life. With the Nunes article I understood that the goal in most processes is 100% efficiency, but never thought about the potential of taking the errors and turning them in to a process themselves by which the machine that is operating becomes more efficient because of them. This was a fantastically meta concept to me that is easy to wrap my head around, yet complex enough that I had not considered it possible. In relation the Krapp article had an interesting line in the final paragraph when it speaks about the dynamic between human and machine, and error and control. While the article focuses on music specifically and the ways in which errors of the past have been turned in to the sounds of the future, I feel that this article connects in the overarching concept of errors being utilized to create new intentional outcomes. Constructing music using errors as instruments is something that I feel is taken for granted in todays society. People hear noise and assume that the author of said noise had intention to create that exact sound. But in reality the noise was perhaps the result of an error that is left in because it sounds more unique than the original concept. Everything I hear on modern hip-hop radio (which is rare because I usually stick to podcasts) sounds like someone rapping over a beat that is made up entirely of errors. The beats themselves often sound like the music from video games of of the 1980’s, and there are constant rewinds, scratches, repeating of lines, and sudden stops in the beat. All of these things are obviously intentional, but mimic errors that surely happened in the past to people recording. The difference as stated in the articles is intention and control. By working with the error, new things are created.
Respones to articles:
While both articles were interesting, I was most intrigued by the Zizek article. The Barker article presented examples of past errors in art which were the glitches of the pre-digital error, and gave me a more thorough understanding of the difference between intentional glitches by an artist and faults in the machines people use. Barker’s writings allowed me to understand that the machine one uses to create must also be considered for its potentiality to create errors whether intentional or not. Overall the article gave me a better understanding of using technology in this course. However the Zizek article, while short and simple also contained a way of thinking which I can relate to. His idea that expert problem solvers are being bred in Universities, when what the world needs is people who go deeper in the analysis of such issues, and attempt to find out if the problems are in fact problems. While people can be considered experts on subjects, I feel that Zizek is saying that we have enough experts and need complex thinkers for the problems which plague the world. In that sense, this course seems to follow his thinking in a similar way; so far its been established that a photo does not have to be defined simply by what it originally was. Any alteration can change its meaning and the perception of those viewing it. By being an expert on something and having a limited way of thinking about it, you are leaving out endless possibilities of what could be considered about the subject in question. Glitch art to me fits perfectly in to this way of thinking, which is clearly why this article was assigned. Good stuff.
Here is a link to my box containing glitched images as well as the originals: