Paddle This Way: Constructed Reality














As I continue to explore the implied spaces of photography and Mass Media, I have been attempting to create glitch art. I know nothing of coding  and related skill, and I have stuck to the software I presently have on the computer.  I had some small success in opening an image file with  audio software and produced some techno-noise. I was not able to switch it back. Until Beauty arrives, it will spend its days as a growling Beast. 

After some attempts, I managed to create some glitch art that resembles something. With my clumsy methods, I was able to glitch the first image in this post. Images 3, 4, and 5 are the glitched versions. The last image, that resembles  a 19th stereoscope  pair-photo, contains  two glitched versions of the previous image, “Paddle the Way – Mind Map”.  For those interested in process, and may wish to follow my crazed meandering, I will now provide some directions.

I found that not all images worked, because, I haven’t figured out why,  but they didn’t work. Some images went through the process and looked like old television reception on an really bad day. Even worse than the ones I used in this post – they were unrecognizable and unmemorable for the amount of time put into the process.

The actual process is not difficult, but does take time – and the results are not predictable. What I did requires image software and  basic text writing software, such as WordPad or Notepad.  First glitch is the easiest.  Open and image file with your preferred software.  Then save the image as a bmp file (bit map). The next step is to open the folder where you saved the file. Now you select the file and change the file name in the following manner.  Click file and choose to rename using menu selection.  The file name will look like this Name.bmp . Rename the file in this manner, Name.txt . Your  computer will ask you really want to do this and you  say/click yes. It is now a text file.  Your image software may still open it this file, since there have been no other changes to the file. You may choose to have extra copies of files so that you have files with the same name, but different  file formats.

Click to enlarge

If you open the text file with WordPad and then save the file, it will introduce file content changes. The file is now glitched. You can try opening the saved text file directly with imaging software or go through the naming process in reverse and change the file name back to a bmp. The image should, in most cases open with some form of glitch in its appearance.  If you are adventurous, you can alter the text file while it is open and see if the changes are subtle, dramatic or in some cases the file is so corrupted it will no longer be recognized as an image file.  The text stuff looks like this.

Click to enlarge


Alter the text and see what you get. Any luck and it may be interesting on itself or it may work as a component of another composition. You may even choose to use it to create an animated GIF.  Have fun, paddle along and share your adventures with the rest of us.


6 thoughts on “Paddle This Way: Constructed Reality

  1. I suppose all technology is self-evidently a toolkit which we have to get used to using before find our way around it and then analysing and critiquing it — all of which you’ve obviously done, with great humility. 🙂

    I can only think of the advice my aged piano teacher gave me in her clipped Russian accent when I was ten: Practise, practise, practise! (That, and the injunction to play Bach, Bach, and more Bach! Do you spot a pattern here?)

    1. Also get a piano with all the strings & have them properly tuned. 😀 I need to go the next step and get the other software, which will allow me adjust the glitches more effectively. 🙂

    1. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the results. If I can get a handle on some of the other techniques I will have a greater range of colours and will be able to adjust sections of the image. It will be a bit closer to what you posted. 🙂

    1. I am now trying to create a Polamatic /Polaroid effect using my imaging software. I can do Polaroid aesthetic and Polaroid transfer & frame effects – it is that funny square frame that is a bit tricky. 😀

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