William Dunn, “Syria: A Modern Day Guernica”

This kind of dirty new media seeks to demonstrate the pain of Syria’s people during the civil war that is leaving the country in ruin. Al-Assad’s regime is one that is subjecting the Syrian people to all sorts of violence, destruction, and constant silencing by the country’s media. This project is a dirty new media that provides a certain artistic commentary of the civil war in Syria.  For the glitched images, I searched online for photos that would most accurately portray the people of Syria. I converted images to be a bitmap. image, deleted some of the text in the wordpad, and then converted the images back to jpg.  The woman in one of the photos appears as if she is being silenced with her mouth glitched out of the photo, which symbolizes the unheard voices of women in Syria. Another two images that I used to display the effect of the Syrian people’s anguish is in the image of the man screaming and the one stricken by the loss of his sister. It was photos like these in which glitch are was used to make “Guernica effect” possible and show how the silencing by the media creates despair among the Syrian people. I then used avidemux to then concatenate two videos of violence in Syria, the first part shows the destruction of religion and the next video shows the destruction of family life as a house is on fire. I decided to datamosh these two clips to show how religion and family life is being destroyed by the war.  The second datamoshing clip combines an explosion as well as an interview in which Al-Assad denies the usage of WMDs. The moshing is a depiction of how media silences the people of Syria, leaving destruction and distortion in its wake. This can also be juxtaposed as to how a television or computer reacts when a bomb explodes, as we can see in the glitched explosion image. For the sound part of the project, I first used sounds that were associated with violence in Syria and imported them into a text editor to mess up the code and glitch the sound. This product of this glitch emphasizes the distant gunshot sounds in the background and bringing out the sounds of war. How we see the Syrian war in America is based on how the media depicts it, which can have an effect on the countless lives that are being ruined every day in Syria. With this glitch project, it sheds light on how the media portrays war in distorted way, leading to more pain and more suffering by the Syrian people. The chaos will continue until Al-Assad’s regime ends, but the distortion will never cease until it does. Just as Pablo Picasso painted “La Guernica” to show the destruction and despair of the town of Guernica, this set of glitch art shows how Syria today has become a modern-day form of La Guernica. In the fight for freedom, there is also pain.



Feral Media Glitches


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