“Mural Justice?” By Cara McGlew

Photo Glitchesmuralglitch2muralglitch1

Video Glitches

Audio Glitches

Wild Glitch


Feral Glitch

old mural

Artist Statement

The simplest definition of a glitch, which is an otherwise very complex idea, is a fault in the system. More often than not, the term glitch is used to describe some sort of digital glitch seen through technology. This is not to say that glitches are simply confined to these terms. A glitch can be found in nature, in people, in society. The theme of my glitch assignment is the later, the glitches found in people and in our society.

In Philadelphia, the number of inmates incarcerated in these prisons fluctuates from year to year. Regardless of their current standings, the crime rate in Philadelphia is one of the largest in the United States. Many people may feel that this is not their problem but it has been proven that it does matter, we need to step in. Men and women who are arrested serve their sentence and are then “welcomed” back in society and if we do not aim to fix the system, they are bound to repeat it.

The Mural Arts Program was initially an anti-graffiti program started in Philadelphia in 1986. It has since turned into so much more. A division of the Mural Arts program is the Restorative Justice Project. “Restorative Justice is a concept of justice that involves the victim, the offender, and the community in the healing process. The offenders partner with the victims of similar crimes that the offenders have committed and paint side by side these murals brought up all around the city of Philadelphia. These offenders themselves are the glitch. They are the fault in the system of a society. They deviate from the otherwise peaceful path that functioning members of society are functioning on. Additionally, in this case the criminal justice system is a glitch. The prisoners normally taken off the streets for their deviant acts are then removed from society. Through this program they are still contributing to the community through these murals.

The pictures I have glitched are two of the most famous murals created through the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Restorative Justice. By playing with the perfectly formatted lines, it brings to light the blurred lines about both criminals and about whether or not they should be allowed to connect with the community they hurt by committing their crimes while still behind bars. The glitched videos again are a play on lines as well as darkness to express the environment of being confined in a prison. The first audio glitch is from the wise words of Jane Golden. Jane was one of the most influential and vital people behind The Mural Arts Program Restorative Justice. The second audio glitch is from a scene from The Office where Dwight critiques Pam’s art skills. She is displaying a painting of nothing other than a wall, how fitting. Glicthing this audio through Photoshop was my favorite part of this entire project. Using Photoshop, I took away data from the audio file. This process was hauntingly similar to the removal of these Philadelphia offenders from their community. Both the community and the audio files are left altered after the fault in their system.


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