The Corrupted Landscape: A Series of Climate Change Glitches

If you follow me on Instagram (@brandoncranford) then you’ve seen my series of glitch photographs and videos. This series is an exploration into the potential destruction of climate change on the natural environment using digital glitching processes. This post is to give more information on the series and techniques used while also acting as a tool for myself to process my thoughts as it is a work in progress. Be sure to check back Saturday for a more in depth tutorial on the glitching techniques used in the series.

The title of the series is The Corrupted Landscape. Each landscape photograph and video is combined with text or audio from a climate report, news article or political statement. To combine the images with text, they are opened in a HEX editor to be shown as plain text and then I can insert the climate text. The videos are glitched the same way except that the files are more fragile and there must be the exact number of characters of plain text at the end as the beginning. This leads to the monotonous task of counting the characters that I’m replacing. To glitch images using audio, the images are opened as raw data in the program Audacity, combined with climate audio, exported as raw data and then opened as an image in Photoshop. My process produces random results and part of the joy is opening the glitched image. As I explore glitch art further I would like to learn more control over the process.

I find glitch art to be a perfect parallel to the relationship of climate change and the environment. Glitching is destructive to images and videos. I am changing the data of files to produce unexpected results. Climate change is destructive to the landscapes; the smallest changes can also produce unexpected results. The text and audio that I am combining with the images and videos is data or stories of the negative effects on the environment. In this way the text and audio is not only causing destructive effects on my artwork but because it is real data, news stories or quotes it is causing destructive effects on the environment. My hope with the series is to abstractly depict the effects of climate change on the landscape. Climate change is one of the largest problems facing humanity. Recent reports are showing us that the problem is bigger than we thought. It is no longer a problem for the future. We are facing the point of no return and we must act now to preserve the planet we call home. If my artwork can convince someone that climate change is an urgent problem and to take action then it has done its job. While the planet won’t look like a virtually glitched landscape, I can guarantee that it will look a lot worse if climate change isn’t addressed.

I’ve included a few links to some of the reports, news stories and videos I have used in my glitches.


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