Kate Gentile: From Black to Color and Back Again

While nature holds on, for most of the human race, a colorful world is alive when our technology works. Error free, no loading, no waiting. The electric rainbow wheel is nothing but a blackout to us all. My glitch work consists of how most of us see and interpret technology when it goes wrong. People feel that the plug has been pulled, the show can’t go on- when in fact, it just is a new show that I have created. I tell the story from the beginning of frustration, to a slow acceptance that eventually the user can see color (or positivity) in error.

I believe my story of glitched technology portrays a side of mass media and pop culture often times is overlooked or not thought of. I chose images of icons in current day popularity that to most is a recognizable face at first glance. However, once they are distorted- can one tell who it is? I make it hard enough that one has to study the image, but not hard enough that one can’t figure out Beyonce and Kanye West are two of my focal points. There was a time in our history when black and white was all the world knew; we had to allow our senses to do more. We had to listen, had to converse, had to feel it out. Now, the world demands visual and has fallen absent on uses other senses.

For most, we want Netflix, YouTube and Apple. Instant access, full stream, on demand. I capture the wild glitch of most beloved public (and secret) affair- a relationship with Netflix. With the streaming world at one’s fingertips, everything seems clear; but once the error page appears, everything turns black.

Slowly I incorporate color, starting with a wild glitch of an episode of Law and Order, a show well known to been watched as a binge, a drug for many to allow their brain’s to shut off and their eyes to soak in. I show that even though the show is glitching, one still knows it is Law and Order. So do we need this perfected content without error to be happy? Does the glitch go against the shows title: Order, or does it coincide with the plot of the show- there is something or someone, always, in the wrong, in the error.

The same goes for the next wild glitch, a fuzzy image of a TV commercial. Even though there is no HD, no countless pixel count, just a normal, unclear picture- one can still tell the ad is placed by Burlington Coat Factory. The world has not turned black because of the unclearness of the screen- just simply dulled, or brightened, depending upon your opinion.

I had to incorporate apple into my glitch work, because the company entices so many of us glitch free or not. The world is consumed by the ad free organization because they produce something so many of us see sleek, shiny, and perfect. When in fact, most of our apple products smash, die, and glitch every single day. For example, I show a conversation between my friend meg and I. She sends the iMessage “Hey Sugar!” a message I never received. An error that is small and still allows me to live in the colorful world of Apple.

I use other instances such as Beyonce waving and the New York City Skyline to show my viewers that the world is a colorful place no matter what the image holds. One can still see the superstar power of Beyonce and the Technicolor beauty of a city skyline even with glitches. This is how the world really is. Glitching all the time, but still turning and always colorful.

The videos I produced consist of the idea that perfection is obsolete once the idea that glitch can be just as beautiful as simplicity. I used an image of a sleek iPhone in a human hand to show that we grip to the device more than just physically. Quickly, the image malfunctions, in an animation of the same image distorted- but all colorful, vivid and lively. An error can be as beautiful as a painting. The second video is actually the opposite, with a black background and one single red balloon afloat, that I data-mosh and data-mend to show that the perfect colorful image can be seen multiple ways due to glitch.

Finally, my sounds consist of a stream of popularity tied in with black and color. I start with Kayne West’s “black-skinhead”, and no glitch is really heard until about one minute in. Kayne West in our current culture is seen to some as one of the best artists of all time, an idea that upholds perfection and stardom. Others see him as destructive and annoying- just like glitch and error. All the while, he raps about this notion of black-ness. I don’t make any tie to a racial idea, just the fact that black can be as colorful as a sky at sunset. The same goes for glitch. Many see darkness, but it is so easy to see the light. Lastly, my last song is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, a classic song famous for generations. Sung originally in a black and white film, the song’s lyrics are all about color and joy. A rainbow is a gift from Mother Nature most human beings are always in awe of for it’s beautiful variation of hues and grandness. This song relates perfectly to my idea that a song so simple can be colorful not only for it’s lyrics or it’s updated version in HD color, but for the data corruption. In the end, there is beauty in error and vice versa.

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