Welcome to an illustration of my childhood…

For this project, I was to purposefully ‘glitch’ some pictures! I found it funny that I was going to purposefully cause a problem that most of us never want to see on our computers. How did I turn these images into something out of a horror movie?

I knew that I wanted to create a gallery of images that somehow related back to my childhood. At first, I started collecting images from my childhood of things that everyone remembers such as those pot-holder kits, “Flinstone” vitamins, those big parachute things from gym class, and a whole lot more. Then, I realized I would need to cite every single image, and I figured it would be easier and more fun to include images from my own library!

For the first picture of me in my mom’s arms as a newborn and also the image that is the third one down that I captioned as “I was very protective over my baby dolls,” I used Audacity! Who would’ve thought that you could use a sound-editing program to mess with an image. After watching Dr. Whalen’s very helpful videos, I realized what I needed to do. I imported the image as Raw Data, and then once it was processed, I highlighted different sections of the image’s waves that Audacity thought were sound waves. When I highlighted different sections, I went up to the Effects menu, and the one effect I used over and over again was Echo.

Once I was pleased with my ┬áresults from Audacity, I decided I wanted to work with more programs such as Hex Fiend and Text Edit. I loaded .BMP image files into Hex Fiend and Text Edit, and then continued to cut and paste chunks of the data into random places. I would grab lines and lines of the code and paste it at the bottom of the entire code. It was satisfying but I was definitely afraid of accidentally not pasting the last set of data before grabbing other lines of code. Luckily, I was able to pace myself and make sure I didn’t make this messy mistake! The pictures that resulted from Text Edit and Hex Fiend are the picture of me on my bathroom floor with the number ‘2’ written with my mom’s lipstick (why did I do this? I couldn’t tell you!), the picture of me on my back deck with my dance costume on, the picture of me standing next to my childhood best friend, and the picture of me in front of my Barbie Dream House. Some of them really turned out disturbing, such as the one of me playing with my Barbies! My eyes are in one place and my nose and mouth are floating a few centimeters away. I also really liked the green effect that it created in every picture. It reminded me of something that you would see back when you would watch or rent a VHS from Blockbuster, and you had to rewind it after watching! Remember when you had to rewind it and the screen would go all funny, or even worse when the person before you hadn’t reversed it and you had to try and look away so you didn’t spoil the movie for yourself? This “rewind” effect definitely made me happy because it is as if you are about to watch some of my old home movies, and we’re going back in time! Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be a kid again!

After playing with the method of data bending, I decided that the next method I would use was that of pixel sorting! In order to pixel sort, I followed the instructions and methods of Dr. Whalen! I watched his video numerous times while pausing it, rewinding it, replaying it, etc. I opened up Jupyter Notebook like I did when I wrote my own poetry with Python. Instead of creating a new Python workbook, I created a new terminal. In this terminal, I had a lot of difficulty at first. I wasn’t exactly sure how to use the code words such as “cd,” “pwd,” and “ls.” You also can’t click in the middle of a ‘statement’ and edit it. You have the delete everything until the point you want to edit. This was somewhat frustrating, but I did a lot of copy and pasting from other lines so I didn’t completely have to restart my process. Once I had loaded the pictures from my Desktop into the terminal, I was able to mess with them, and use commands such as writing “-a” to change the degree of the glitch and “-o” to save the new glitched image in a place that was easier to access. I also used other commands to change the glitch, itself. These changes were made by using words such as “lightness,” “intensity,” “saturation,” and more! This was fun to play with to see different versions of the glitches. At times, I put an image through this terminal and glitch process multiple times to see the glitches change so that I could choose which ones I liked best. As you can see above, some of my results were extremely disturbing. The picture of me where I am wearing a red dress for my 6th grade Holly Ball for Cotillion is quite disturbing. It’s almost as if I turned into a demon! I swear I’m not a demon! I really did create quite a bit of ‘nightmare fuel.’ I don’t think I can ever look at my pictures the same way ever again. The picture of me with a confused look on my face while on my dad’s shoulders is also somewhat disturbing. It looks like my face is melting. Don’t people say “as the memories melt away”??? ┬áMy absolute favorite result is the picture where I am a little girl holding my mom’s hand while we’re on the beach. It looks like a painting to me, and it reminds me of a painting that used to be in my grandparents’ house. That glitch is definitely the best one, in my opinion. Some of the pictures had greater glitches and changes, and others stayed somewhat the same. I think that speaks to me in a way that says “Life isn’t always perfect” and “Life changes, whether you like it or not.” These glitches might not have been exactly what I had in mind, but I wouldn’t change them because they’ve changed and life isn’t perfect, and neither is art!

I love these glitches, and will definitely be sharing them with my family. Rest assured, these are not the only copies of these images, and I still have the normal pictures. I’ll leave those below so you can compare the changes. I think the glitches definitely tell a story about my life. I’ve lived a great life so far, and am hoping for a great future! Life is messy, just like these pictures. Not all of the pieces fit perfectly, just like the glitched pieces of the images. There are some things I don’t wish to remember, but sometimes these things only make you stronger. I’m grateful for my family, memories, and life in general! I wouldn’t really change a thing, just like these pictures above!

My “Code” from the Python Terminal in GitHub

Let me know what you think!


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