Photography: Entertainment in Ruin
by Beauchamp Art
Photographs of a screen displaying a variety of spontaneously glitched video stills, taken from entertainment media.
Though the original images were found, and the images broke due to an unexpected program error that occasionally occurs when the video is being scaled up and increased in resolution, whilst the CPU and RAM are approaching maximum capacity, by taking screenshots of these moments, then re-photographing them on the screen, they become not simply undesirable elements, but part of a process of reappropriation given them a greater permanence. Rather than these odd moments being simply noticed, I have documented them, and by photographing the monitor I am not just reproducing the images, but representing how they are seen; as fractured patterns in a pixellated reality, taking on an uncanny quality of near-life, as all of them involve some degree of figuratism, allowing the viewer to connect to some aspect of the image, so they are not totally lost in abstraction, but rather they may become caught up in the ambivalence of the pictures.
The familiar form of the face being fractured and dissolving into electronic cells may become abject; like seeing a digital form of mutilation – a violent deviation from the objective visual reality into a new subjective aesthetic.
The glitched image reveals part of the inner workings of the video format, and the programming behind it; in turn speaking of the fragility and potential for failure in humanity; as all machines are ultimately built and directed by people, it is their flaws which are exemplified in the glitch. This allegorical quality of such glitched images could be seen as representative of the psychological glitch; a sense of slippage, moments of mis-comprehension, a failing of the faculties.
Indeed, “what makes good glitch art good is that, amidst a seemingly endless flood of images, it maintains a sense of the wilderness within the computer. ” [Manon & Tempkin, 2001]
It is worth noting that as these images are taken from non-specific video media; mostly light entertainment; then they also represent the common-place nature of technical failures and the insignificance assigned to these sorts of interactions.
Though only a short series of images, this use of reprocessed found distorted images is a potentially fruitful source of future ideas – rather than deliberately manufacturing failure, hacking to glitch, one could attempt to rely on these sorts of found broken images to create new ones – or even to simulate the aesthetic as a means of creating a discourse between the intention and accident of the human interactions with technology, and how that is popularly perceived to be seen.
Manon, Hugh S. & Temkin, Daniel. (2001) Notes on Glitch. http://worldpicturejournal.com/WP_6/Manon.html