Glitch Art and Databending
Hello ghouls, it's been a while away from the blog as I moved across the ocean and started the PhD. It's been rough going, but getting back into the swing of blogging should help. I've also decided this blog is going to transition over from random academic nonsense, to something more structured. More on that later.
For now, I wanted to share some fun art and tech nonsense.
Our lives are structurally tethered to digital media, but we often talk about them as being absent, fleeting, or otherwise occulted behind the unknown "data" and "code" that construct them. Glitch Art and Databending play with this boundary. One way this is done is by transcoding digital media. Converting digital images into audio files, editing those audio files, and then returning them back to the digital image yields strange results. Making digital images audible also adds a physicality to an ephemeral media.
Let's see this in practice:
A mopey, bad-day selfie. (Not technically "original" since this has been desaturated, but hey, who's counting?) Click the audio block bellow to hear what this image "sounds like."
The same image as above after been loaded into Audacity and distorted. This image has phaser, reverb, and wahwah effects rendered visually. Click the audio block bellow to hear this image.
Now you know what I sound like!
Interestingly, you can also do this in reverse and turn audio files into images. (Maybe we'll try that out later...)
Hearing a digital image changes how I approach the media. Each pic I've sent out there has also been an eerie, glitched-out little song. The visuality of our digital lives is also a cacophony. These digital simulacra take up a physical space when converted to audio. The gap between the physical and the digital shrinks in scope and appears never really as wide or unknowable as it had seemed.