Screen Art and Film Workshop

‘Bug’ by Mackenzie Curtis

‘Bug’ draws inspiration from digital glitch art with my interpretation exploring the distinct aesthetic through the moving image. Born during the Coronavirus isolation period, ‘Bug’ explores themes of the self, domestic space and memory in a non-linear structure. My intention in making the film surrounds the experience it provides with further inspiration being drawn from neo-impressionist art which required viewers of paintings to finish the image in their mind. The space created for interpretation  in my film will hopefully result in a different, unique and personal experience and interpretation for each audience member.

As mentioned above, my research methodology centred around the idea of the audience ‘finishing the piece’. This idea was used in neo-impressionist art in the 1800’s where their painting techniques were grounded in science and the study of optics. Neo-impressionist artists worked with a concept of Mélange Optic meaning artists would paint using individual brush strokes with the idea that the viewer would finish the painting in their mind. I began my creative work with an interest in glitch art, and with further research drew a number of parallels with neo-impressionist art and glitch art. Glitch art requires the artist to see meaning and art within the changes to data, with the data ultimately controlling the art. Not only does it require artists to look for/finish the piece but further, the viewers of the art are asked to do the same with the addition of the artists choices. Glitch art celebrates the error in technology opening up space for a number of different conversations whether it be in a humans reliance on technology, the satisfaction in the failure of technology or more politically, the disruption glitch art represents to the norm/societal expectations/pop culture. Glitch became the aesthetic mode I wanted my film to be delivered in, but it needed to be layered, which lead me to the domestic space. The domestic space is significant because it can be identified as a highly personal space key to inner development and dreaming. The privacy of the domestic space allows for emotions and experiences that publicly remain hidden to be released. The Juxtaposition of glitch art and the domestic space requires the audience to project and interpret what they are viewing through a veil of their own experience.

My experience in making ‘Bug’ was largely driven by aesthetic and a focus on providing a unique experience for the audience. Most of my work took place in post-production where I experimented with a number of different editing techniques, effects and colouring to ultimately achieve the different looks and effects present in the film. This process developed over a number of months as I delved deeper into glitch art and the aesthetic associated. It should be noted that my interpretation and realisation of glitch art in the film does not data-bend or alter the data presented in the original moving images; I layer on top of the images various effects and colours, therefore my film tends towards conservative glitch art. Despite this and the varying opinions surrounding pure glitch art vs. conservative glitch art, ‘Bug’ utilises the glitch aesthetic to focus on and encourage personal projection and interpretation; making the audience an important 3rd player in the completion of the film. This in turn is a disruption of the ‘norm’ where self reflection isn’t always valued and the audience’s interpretation isn’t always paramount.

‘Bug’ (2020)

rmitmediastudent • June 2, 2020

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