Glitch Art Portfolio

In Creative Coding at the University of Mary Washington, we were encouraged to create a glitch art portfolio that utilizes at least two glitch methods. We were given a wide variety of methods to use, including databending with Audacity or HxD, Pixel Sorting with Python, or datamoshing using GIFs or video files. Over the course of this unit I got the chance to use all of these, but found myself liking Pixel Sorting and databending with Audacity the best. This led to me using those two methods for each of the photos I picked for this project.

For my glitch art portfolio, I was inspired by an exhibit I had the pleasure of seeing in early 2018 at Candela Art Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. The exhibit was “Portals” by Harrison D. Walker, who is an artist who describes himself as being interested in the intersection of printed objects, archives, chemistry, astronomy, and chance. His Portals are created using photosensitive materials that he manipulates to generate interesting results. At the time I got to see his exhibit, I was doing commercial photography and had access to a darkroom, so I tried out some of his methods to create interesting cyanotypes with varying results. However, I enjoyed his Portals because of how simple yet beautiful they were. When we were assigned this project, I instantly knew I wanted to do something with his portals because it would be connecting back to his theme of chance, while connecting to my own interest in creative digital media. If anyone is interested in checking out Harrison D. Walker’s work, please visit his website, take a look around, and read his about page. It’s all very interesting and creative stuff!

For each of the following images I picked some of my favorite portals from Harrison Walker’s website, downloaded them, and ran them through Satyarth Mishra Sharma’s Pixel Sorting program in Python 2 and Python 3. This process was fairly simple. I use a Windows computer, so I opened the command prompt and ran the following lines of code:

pip install pixelsort

python3 -m pixelsort [FilePathToImage]

From there I left it up to chance. Whatever the Pixel Sort decided to do, I simply let it do it. I then tracked down each of the generated image files and converted them one by one to BMP files so they could be imported into Audacity. Now, Audacity is supposed to be used for audio editing, which is why the images had to be converted to BMP. I did this using MS Paint, but it was also be done in GIMP or through CloudConvert. MS Paint is just more convenient for me, because it came pre-installed on my computer. Once each of the files were converted to BMP, I imported them one at a time into Audacity as raw data. This means the images appeared as sound file wavelengths, allowing you to manipulate them like you would any other sound file. Since this is a portfolio, I wanted to apply the same processes to each image. Looking at the images, you may think I did a lot, however I only highlighted sections where I thought the portal was in the image. From there I applied echo from the effects menu before exporting each image as a BMP once more. You can view a BMP with a photo viewer, but the file type is not user friendly, so I converted each BMP to PNG before uploading them to Flickr. I’ve uploaded each of the images down below, so take a look! There is a total of eighteen, and can be viewed here on Flickr in my Glitch Art Portfolio Album.


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