When glitching up my teammates’ pictures, it was really freeing to be able to delight in making errors on top of degrading the photos. With other projects, I’m scared to make errors – this manifests in me constantly making sure I use many layers on Photoshop in case I need to correct something specifically, or using the Mask feature instead of simply erasing parts of the image away as it is irreversible. I was able to celebrate not being able to go back and redo time and again, in fact, intentionally making sure I made errors, so that their images become even more glitched up. I realized that glitch is a really powerful way of looking at image processing in a way that completely goes against norms, yet works with your intuition in a very fundamental manner.
When artists work with their intuition in this manner, the glitch process produces amazing, unexpected results on the basis that all of us process stimuli very differently. Every progress photo of the glitch process until the last image highlights this – we are able to see each group members’ unique personalities manifesting in the glitch edits they make. On a personal level, this made me anticipate the next progress photo even more – the element of surprise as each of us worked on our images felt great. I felt like I came to know my teammates a little more, and couldn’t wait to see how my selfie turned out.
And how beautiful did my selfie turn out; it’s so chaotic with the bright colors and angular geometric shapes – such a really fun aesthetic! What started out as a self-portrait became a group-portrait – what really astonished me about this was how accurate it was a depiction of what I was feeling at that time. With each image, the amount of glitch increases. Likewise, with every passing group member’s image I edited, I felt more and more comfortable with making wilder glitches – in a sense, each glitch edit I made became crazier. The fact that this chronological change in mental state is being echoed in my selfies signaled to me that my group members, too, may have felt this increasing liberation. Maybe it was unconscious, but the collective process gave meaning to my selfie.
On top of producing an unexpected result that I could not not have achieved on my own, this project gave me insight into my own mental processes through a physical manifestation as well, which I found really amazing.