Glitch Text and Audio Practicum
Hi everyone 🙂 I hope you all had a nice spring break! This practicum project made me realize how little I actually understand about computers. I went into this practicum thinking it would be easy, but it was in fact more difficult than I expected and I fully had to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to change a file extension which was the first step of glitching. Anyways if I can figure it out, so can you!
Okay so, the main takeaway from Trevor’s article was that knowing and understanding the functional structures and tools can help you better understand how your computer works and what is going on that you can’t necessarily see. Basically, that by glitching image or audio files you can begin to understand the structures and tools in your computer. Digital objects are made up of bits with encoded information that software is designed to read. By breaking down these digital objects we can see how the computer understands the objects and what the tools were designed to do and not do. Pretty neat!
With images, the data files are meant to be viewed in a certain way. When you download an image, it is saved in a .jpeg format. For example, it would look like this
If you edit the file extension from .jpeg to .txt you can see the text data of the photo, but it looks like complete nonsense to me.
Once you open the text in TextEdit on a Mac or Notepad on a PC you can edit the text or delete the text to change the output/visual image. Also, here is the YouTube link for the tutorial on how to change a file extension https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=pbEaKTcQcv4.
Once I changed the file to a .txt file I started deleting text. I had to delete a lot of text to make a difference though! After you make the edits/delete the text the last thing you have to do is convert the .txt file back into a .jpeg file and it’s all done! It’s kind of fun too! The photo below is the glitched photo.
Another way to do this is with an mp3 file. The process is very similar to image glitching. Once the audio file is downloaded it will show up as an .mp3 file and you can change it to a .txt file he same way you would change a ,jpeg to a .txt file.
When you open the file in TextEdit you can delete some text the same way you would for images and convert the file back into a .mp3 after and you have a glitched file! There is less to show in this process but I glitched “For the Sake of the Song” by Townes van Zandt and will play the original and the glitched file in class on Wednesday so you can hear it!
I hope this was helpful 🙂 – Emma