In the Final Project for my Computer as an Expressive Medium course, we were asked to create Glitch Art that is interactive and incorporates video or audio elements. This project was created using p5.js, a JavaScript Library.

Originally, the goal of this project is to use the data and information about COVID 19 and create a data visceraliztion and engage the emotional into visualization. According to Data Feminism, “visceralizations are representations of data that the whole body can experience, emotionally as well as physically – data that ‘we see, hear, feel, breathe and even ingest’.” (D’Ignazio & Klein). Below is an excerpt from my sketchbook to shows how I originally wanted to display my ideas. 

After speaking with my professor, she recommended I create a project that was more personal. Rather than thinking of how COVID has impacted the entire country, how have I been personally changed? While I know I’ve been deeply impacted by COVID, I struggled with targeting specifically how I am impacted. Further, how to show emotion through glitch art. I narrowed down my feelings to a select few: isolation, boredom, lack of movement, and fear. The below sketchbook page is more the internal investigation to decide what I wanted to focus on displaying.

After a personal investigation, I decided to focus my attention on my relationship with my room. My room is a safe space where I get to think, create, make, and be without judgment. Before COVID, it was my favorite place. However, after 9 months of living with a family, a single room started to feel too small. Quickly the place of peace turned into a trap and I was quickly bored of the same view day in and day out. Below are my notes for the final version of my project.

The number of videos represents the number of selves we all carry – a student, a wife, a daughter, a friend, an athlete, an artist, etc. All of those parts of yourself, that in normal times could be expressed in different locations, are now forced to be themselves in one room. This leads to a lot of collision and chaos that is not fun to look at after a while. 

I then made the videos move just a bit and in sporadic ways to show how time is passing, but I still feel stuck in this time and place. The change in the size of the video feeds is supposed to represent how big and small I feel in my room. Sometimes, life is great and I solved the hardest coding problems. Other days, I feel small and hopeless. Additionally, the jump between sizes creates a sort of glitchy effect that further adds to the anxiety. 

Lastly, I wanted to add the ability to slow down the glitch and movement. Even during this time of no movement, it was important to take time to breathe and accept the reality of the world. When you click on the video, there is a blend mode that contrasts the original image and video and causes the videos to slow down. Life is out of my control, but if I try to breathe I know I’ll get through it. 

Check out the interactive glitch art here.