The prevalence of drugs in pop culture is undeniable. From music videos to movies, tv shows and even print, the use of drugs and either the positive or negative implication of such actions are the focus of countless narratives in history. Even when not the main plot line, drugs can enter a narrative and disrupt progress, derail characters and affect the mood of a particular performance or media type. There is even comedic use of drug and drug effects in such movies as Pineapple Express. Regardless of the certain drug portrayed or effects it brings about, there is no denying the abundance of references and portrayals across the entire media landscape. By result, mainstream culture tends to not necessarily follow, but in a sense emulate, the experiences and highs the characters on-screen or on page are having. Even Jim Morrison, icon and drug leader in his own right, was convinced to take his first tab of acid after reading Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, and reading about the author’s trip on mescaline. It is perhaps a desire to expand one’s mind or perhaps a desire to be at least somewhat like one’s heroes, maybe even a mixture of the two, but regardless, the use of enhancers, depressants, psychedelics etc. are informed by and based upon changing one’s state and experiencing another. That experience is chased and coveted and in turn re portrayed in media only to re start and continue the cycle. That experience is also starkly varied depending on the drug and drug class of choice. Each chemical effects the brain and body differently and on top of that each singular person’s experience can change slightly from case to case. There is similarity but it is still unique every time. Like a piece of art, a drug experience is nuanced and diverse, but grounded in commonalities. With psychedelics there is a sense of euphoria and possibility. Amphetamines increase mental speed and give a feeling of invincibility. Depressants relax and wipe away the problems of the world.

The question is not necessarily what each drug does, but rather why each drug is done and what feeling the user is chasing. The question is also why would we want to portray this topic? Unlike other art forms, glitch gives us a new way to approach projects and also a new way to express feelings and emotions. It also happens to be the perfect tool when it comes to expressing the distortions in reality that drugs bring about. Through the lens of glitch one’s perspective can be altered and the feeling of first person vision and therefore first person reality distortion can be achieved and controlled. Then, by merging the glitch with the pop culture scenes that portray each experience, a deeper look can be taken at the meaning behind each use of a drug in pop culture and also at the societal portrayal of effects related to each use. It can also be viewed as somewhat competition too. Each medium, the book, the song, the screen and so on, use different methods to illustrate the use of drugs, each being unique. Strong in some aspects and lacking in others, it will be intriguing to see how glitch can show the effects in a new and multidimensional way (through both visual and aural distortion), in addition to the ways in which it may be improved. Finally, in some way we hope this is at least partly educational. We aren’t advocating the use or glamorizing it but rather illustrating the mindset each one puts an individual in. Some mindsets will most likely not be portrayed in a good light, as many side effects are negatives. By showing both the positive and negative implications, we hopefully delineate a true image of each experience to in turn let the viewer decide what seems too extreme or contrarily to pleasurable for them or their liking. And moreover maybe relate the mindset shown to a memory or place they have once been.

As mentioned before, each trip or experience is unique and therefore reducing a class of drugs to a few images/videos/gifs and projecting our assumed feelings with a glitch may seem narrow, but luckily while each is unique, overall qualities and feelings remain generally constant along classification lines. Therefore, we are able to take those shared emotional responses and take a deeper look at how they connect differing drugs to each other and an overall classification while also contrasting the differing results of conflicting classes.

The final reason of exploring this topic is also the most obvious. The prospect of taking something and changing one’s experience is just as exciting and thrilling as it is terrifying and dangerous, and to many that exhilaration is the entire reason to do it. The exploration of that removal from one’s self is fascinating and is a main reason why people continue to experiment with different drugs. Regardless of the reason, it happens, and studying it can only illuminate patterns and shared experiences. Just like glitch, it is another way at looking at the world. Another way of bending reality.

Our plan is to first classify the many differing types of drugs and group them together along those classes, aiming to find the most prevalent in pop culture along with the most easily portrayed through glitch. After that we are going to go through image and media gathering by looking through the most famous examples of drug use, along with images (personal and web-based) that also can represent each experience. Next, and most importantly, the glitch. This is where the mood we are trying to impose is created and layered onto the various images/videos/gifs to elicit the emotional response specific to each drug. Hopefully by merging images that are already related to drug use with glitches intended to mirror the effects of drug use, the result will be a new interpretation of the decade old “trip sequence.”

Claudia, Daniella and I hope to work concurrently and as a unit of three rather than three individuals, so we plan on doing as much as we can together and as a group. Saying that, for the sake of time and strengths Claudia and Daniella will focus on the image acquisition and mood layout while I focus on the aural landscape. Like with the images, the sounds will be a mixture of found, used and personally recorded/acquired material. The glitching will involve programs such as audacity, adobe Photoshop, given codes and image glitch. The overall product however, which is planned to be a video presentation, will either be approved by all of us or none of us. We hope our three different but common styles will mesh well together and form a final product reflective of our experiences and our artistic wishes.

Our Moodboard representation of the images/feelings we wish to convey:



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Attempting a 3D Glitch:

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Ali Processed:


Earth Shot:


Philadelphia in Process




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The First Glitch:

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock


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Arnold Palmer on the Tee

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The Greatest Taunt in Sports

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The Final Act

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My UCSB Box – Sports, Music and History: My past, your past, our past:

My 5 Videos:

Nikes – Frank Ocean:

2001: A Space Odyssey – Stargate Sequence:

Tame Impala – The Less I Know the Better:

A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario

The Endless Summer:

My Vimeo:

My youtube channel: