For my final project I’m planning to create a glitch art portfolio. When I was in high school I took a photography class and one of the assignments we completed as to take a large number of photos of similar items. For mine I brought in thirty CDs from my collection and set up a mini studio with a tripod, a light, and a black blanket to take pictures of all these CDs. Afterwards I arranged those photos in a grid, and that assignment was over.
I have constantly thought back on that assignment and wondered how I could make it more interesting. At a glance it looks cool, but closeup it’s not all that interesting. Then as the final project approached for this class I considered revisiting it and providing a more in-depth explanation and analysis while updating the project with some digital skills I have acquired along the way.
For my project I will be using those old pictures to create glitch art. Now, most of these pictures are dark because I used a black background. A lot of the CDs are also dark in color as well. What I plan to do is invert each of those photos in Pixlr using the Difference Blend Mode. From there I plan to create two or three different galleries where I apply certain Audacity effects to each photograph. I know I want to use Echo on one set, because that generates really cool effects and is my favorite method of glitching photos. I also enjoy Phaser, so I’ll probably use that one too. I have already created a subdomain for this project, which is where I will display this project after I upload the results to Flickr.
Below is a layout of my plan.
CD Images from MLWGS Photojournalism Project (on old flashdrive)
Upload to Pixlr and apply Difference in Blend Mode
Download as smaller file size JPG (685 width is optimal)
Convert to BMP file
Open in Audacity as Raw Data (U-Law + Little Endian + 1 Channel Mono)
Audacity Effects => Echo & Phaser are best options
Export Audio as BMP file (
Convert to PNG or JPG
Upload to Flickr
To explain, creating glitch art is not necessarily hard, but it is a time consuming process. The way I plan to approach this is to use Audacity to create interesting images. Audacity is supposed to be used for audio editing, not image editing, so in order to glitch a photo with it you have to convert the image to a file that can be imported to Audacity as Raw Data. I shoot all my photographs in RAW, which produces the largest file size possible, and it’s best to work with smaller images because the editing and conversion is going to make the file size get bigger and bigger every time I save it. This is why I’m reducing the image width to 685 when downloading it from Pixlr. BMP is the optimal file type to use for this, because you can import it into Audacity as a sound file and also view it in your computer’s photo viewer. Be aware it you try this yourself that BMP is not user friendly, so it’s best to convert the file back to JPG or PNG when done.
To glitch an image in Audacity you use the Effects menu. However, not all the effects work and some will corrupt the image so you can’t view it anymore. For this reason, save often! Once I go through and glitch each of these images several times I plan to upload them to Flickr and then embed those images on my subdomain in an interesting way. However, I plan to go through and talk about each CD before including the separate images.
Here’s a few examples of what I’m doing so far with the picture of my Blue Öyster Cult CD.