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Performing Human Pixels in Glitched: Portraits of Transformation

Barness, Jessica ; McCarthy, Steven ;


This paper examines the role of intentional error and unpredictable outcomes in digital image manipulation as a means of commenting on aspects of perfection, aesthetics, design process and technology. Glitched: Portraits of Transformation is a series of photographic human portraits that have been altered by performing JPEG images at the level of code bits. Intense bands and blocks of color, unorthodox textures, odd overlaps and crops – combined with machine-readable alphanumeric typography and philosophical quotes – are the result of a creative, collaborative design process. Informed by theories of ‘research through design,’ ‘design authorship,’ and ‘failure studies,’ the Glitched project operates at the intersection of representation, expression and intervention. While the results can be considered as artworks, the images address deeper concerns about the confluence of digitization and the human condition through design. The images, therefore, can be interpreted as visualizations of science’s nascent field of ‘synthetic biology’ and its oncoming ethical and moral considerations. Additionally, the series represents the potential effects of physiological and behavior transformations. The designers begin with critical commentary on perfection in design followed by descriptions of their technical process in a theoretical context. Parallels of the Glitched series are drawn with the human condition, and the designers conclude with suggestions for viewer interpretation and further exploration.


Palavras-chave: JPEG, glitch, portrait, perfection, digitization,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0071

Referências bibliográficas
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Como citar:

Barness, Jessica; McCarthy, Steven; "Performing Human Pixels in Glitched: Portraits of Transformation", p. 499-504 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0071

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