An Introduction to Glitch Art: Implementing Digital Surrealism Into Your Photography

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One thing I love implementing in the work that I do is surrealism. When it comes to music production, for example, I like throwing in noises that catch me off guard. I might take samples of speeches and alter the voice of whoever’s speaking, and fit it into something as an introductory cut; vocoders are something I have too much fun with, if I don’t abuse them while experimenting with different sounds and figuring out what works best with what I’m writing.

Similarly, that form of surrealism is something I experiment with in photography to the point where it’s becoming something I generally implement into my work. One way I tend to mess with some of my photos is by giving them glitch distortions. If you’ve heard of this before, you’ve probably heard it referred to as “glitch art”. Glitch art’s gained a good amount of popularity since the turn of the millennium, around the time when digital photography started becoming popular. In the same way film has its imperfections illustrated through the little cracks and marks you see flashing by when a movie’s being projected (the “cigarette burn”, for example), digital work has its imperfections as well. The pixelization of a JPG, the compression of an uploaded mp4, or the complete chaos done to a video when it’s converted to an incompatible format – the digital age now has its own unique form of flaws, and it’s arguably a part of our culture up to today just because of the familiarity each of us have with the imperfections.

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With Photography Comes Responsibility: Why Recent Paparazzi Activities Are Dangerous for Photographers and Their Rights

A group of Paparazzi outside a private establishment.

We’ve done reports over stories that we hear of how people have been treated by police when practicing photography in public. Most of the time they’re journalists, bystanders, or someone trying to expose police in acts they probably shouldn’t be committing in the first place. And we’ve always treated the subject with importance because photography isn’t a crime. A state isn’t truly free if it isn’t a state that builds on a right to a freedom of speech, and photography is one method of that freedom of speech. But what about when photography itself is used in an abusive manner? Like the case just a few weeks back involving the subway guy from Massachusetts? Photographers should never be punished for taking pictures in public, but that statement itself comes with responsibilities on the photographers themselves. I want to focus a bit on something that really blurs the line between what’s appropriate and what isn’t: paparazzi photography.

This post comes after recent news of Kanye West settling a case involving an incident last July in where he assaulted a photographer as he was trying to leave the LAX airport. Before you pick up your pitchforks at me bringing him up, understand why I decided to bring him up. Out of any of the many celebrities that are mobbed today by paparazzi, Kanye West is arguably the most controversial through how may times his impulsive actions have become headlines for paparazzi on TMZ. [Read more...]