Reading Response - Week 8

The “Digital Dualism and The Glitch Feminism Manifesto” article by Legacy Russel uses a lot of unnecessary fluff. I found it reaching for the connection such as when she writes, “for me the glitch denotes an extension of the realm of foreplay, whether it be “play” with oneself, or with a virtualized other, imagined, or waiting just on the other side of the proverbial screen.” In all honesty, much of the wording made me uncomfortable, and for unnecessary reasons. I understand where she is coming from and I appreciate her categorizing of “Glitch Feminism,” describing glitch as it “refuses being categorized as subtext” and seeks to do away with structures and systems.

The other article, “Queer/Error: Gay Media Systems and Processes of Abjection” by Chad Parkhill and Jessica Rodgers, is more literal and explanatory of existing terminology. The idea of the queer glitch is detailed and described as “the ‘queer error’ is integral to the SSO [Sydney Star Observer], gay community media could better serve their constituent communities with a politics of queer inclusion rather than exclusions” (212). They make clear points and it is easy to understand where they are coming from and they make a point of describing different sides.


For this assignment I chose my line sorted Disneyland photo. I used the instrumental music that is played as the park is closing as my main track and added segments of Walt Disney’s speech on opening day and the music track from Space Mountain. The image looks futuristic, maybe a bit like a rocket and I liked the launch sounds from Space Mountain as it mimics a real launch but is obviously more relevant with Disney.

Midterm Treatment

For our Midterm project, TerraTech, we have agreed on bringing together nature and technology. We want to explore what they both mean and how they intertwine, negatively but also positively, while also leaving it up to the viewer’s interpretation. Our group project name describes the combination of the two, with Terra meaning Earth, and tech being short for technology. In a time when technology is everywhere and we rely so heavily on it, our project will fit perfectly in the mindset, especially on a campus such as UCSB, whose student body is a big proponent of creating change.

We feel that glitch is the perfect medium to express the complicated relationship and will add a level of complexity to our “narrative” that also further details the turmoil. We began with the idea of Apple computers and technology and their eventual worthlessness, where they end up in a heap in most commonly China. They create toxic conditions and ugly landscapes. Nevertheless, technology is still a necessity in modern life and computers are definitely not going away any time soon! Nature can be represented in a magnitude of ways, from a soft peaceful meadow with birds chirping in the trees overhead, to the savannahs where lions roam and hunt prey. We were interested in exploring the various types of nature videos and manipulating the different styles together. For example a National Geographic style video of a lion approaching, and cross-cutting it – we initially thought with political commentary – with TED Talk style videos, praising technology and/or nature, or an Apple Press Conference that ends in a roar of applause. While we do intend to glitch our images and clips in the technical error sense, the combining of different visuals that do not go together is also our way of glitching.

For me these topics are fresh on my mind, as I am taking FAMST 183-Environmental Film, and these issues have recently been a part of our discussion. We recently watched the documentary, Manufactured Landscapes, which focuses heavily on China, and their manufacturing systems. While China is the leading manufacturer, they also end up with much of the waste when the world is finished with it, including immense amounts of e-waste. E-waste consists of anything that is computer based, from a smart toaster to your iPhone. In China they do attempt to reuse/recycle what they can, with a long tedious process of sifting through waste and finding any microscopic amounts of metal that may be of some value. One of the main examples shown in the documentary is endless rows of people in a factory working on tiny pieces of what you eventually figure out is an iron. They produce huge amounts of an iron daily for the world’s population and when really thinking about it, that is absurd! The amount of material objects on this planet that are not made to last very long is unimaginable and China is the main contribution. The documentary also then shows the piles of waste, regular and electronic. There is even a focus on an old iron, no longer usable. This film really opened my eyes and showed me that things need to change. Systems in place are not necessarily set up for your success. Just because you may take your e-waste to an electronic recycling, does not mean it will then be handled properly. Many of it is in fact shipped off to other countries, making it their problem and instead of it being recycled and then disposed of properly, it is burned, creating toxic fumes that making living conditions unsafe.

By revealing the complex relationship between nature and technological innovations, we hope to produce commentary that allows a conversation to happen about how mass manufacturing needs to change. We will demonstrate firstly the new merging and overlapping without introducing purposeful glitches, then slowly will introduce foreign sounds and small visual glitches. Eventually the glitching will be fully involved. As a said earlier, it will consist of “traditional” and “nontraditional” glitching, with electronic error, as well as visual disruptions. We will also glitch voice overs of speeches, nature sounds such as birds chirping or a bubbling stream, and also car alarms, truck backup beeps, and computer startup sounds. These will all overlay the visuals and will not necessarily coincide with what you are seeing, again creating conflict. Even Apple attempts to portray themselves as friendly to the environment. Every screensaver they offer is a beautiful image of nature and their designs are even made to be sleek and subtle. They don’t want to be big and bulky, sticking out like a sore thumb. We plan to play on the images they use and transition into our video story.

We do not yet have set roles for each person, as we are still learning each others strong suites, and plan to collaborate on all of it as much as possible. Each member thus far has been able to express their views and add input that has really shaped our direction. This project will really represent us four as a group and should also be able to let the viewer think and come up with their own interpretation. I have enjoyed working with glitching various forms of media in this class. I also have had practice in video editing in both Final Cut and Premiere and I have experience in video production and hope it will be useful in creating our final project. We also all plan to research to find the best clips that work for our vision. We will most likely need to film one short sequence and then use that as our introduction. We are ambitious about our final project and believe it will be the best combination of our visions.

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Week 5: Nunes and Krapp

The Nunes article, “Error, Noise, and Potential: The Outside of Purpose,” discusses communication and states,  “when error communicates, it does so as noise” (3). I found the article a bit repetitive and like it was going in circles. I was a little confused reading some of it. It takes about Beniger’s ideas of control and the concern that emerges between purpose and control. This then leads to the connection of control and communication and how they work together.

The Krapp article, “Noise Floor Between Tinnitus and Raw Data,” talks about music in the digital age and how electronic noises have made their way into musical creation. Going into the debate, “How much music can be compressed in lossy sampling before it ceases to be music?” The article talks about the emergence fo this new art form being from the “failure of digital technology” and how they are mistakes that people started keeping in their art – much like other strives and discussions in this class that we have discussed. Intent versus mistake and how they have become intertwined is also mentioned, which I see as an important way of looking at glitch.

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Week 2: Barker and Zizek

The Barker article, Aesthetics of the Error: Media Art, the Machine, the Unforseen, and the Errant, talks about Bruno Munari’s Useless Machines, and that immediately reminded of a larger scale version, Theo Jansen’s Wind Powered Sculptures. They too are technically useless, but they use the force of the wind to walk. Both are fairly simple mechanisms that are seen as art, and so follows Munari’s Manifesto. The article in general has clear lines that connect to this course, as it describes the connections of error with art and the use of the machine. I liked the distinction of how the machine error is internal, and does not have to rely on outside sources. My favorite though was the description that they are canvases waiting to be transformed. This helps me to better understand what we are doing in this class, with an untraditional art form and excited me to dive in more.

On the other hand, when reading the Zizek article, The Subversive Use of Theory, I did not completely understand how it tied into our class and glitch but after considering it I realized that glitches are often seen as mistakes, or problems. Zizek’s piece discusses how so many people want to fix everything they deem a problem but one needs to really look and question if it even is a problem to begin with. Glitch is the same way, and by taking it and turning it into an art form, one is excepting its “imperfections.” I found Zizek to write in an unusual way for a theorist as he is more direct, using simple words, perhaps to be more widely-accepted/understood.

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Original 20 pictures unedited