“Trust your TV” By: Sean West

We live in a world dominated by media. Each of us, every day, is bombarded with various sorts of media – pictures, videos, music, etc. – pertaining to pop culture. Pictures of models cover our billboards and music that has been auto tuned to perfection rules our airwaves. On the television, we are either misled by news stations or engrossed in reality television programs. These types of media have indeed defined our culture – they have shown us what beauty and truth is, and shoved it down our throats. It is practically inescapable.

And we’ve bought into it. People fawn over celebrities, and lament that they can never look as pretty, or as muscular, or sing that well. But these truths are truly distortions. Models are photo shopped before their images are placed in magazines; many pop stars don’t write the majority of their songs; even the newscasters are look beautiful as they spoon feed us half-truths or flat out lies. It is my believe that this constant projection of perfection upon us is extremely detrimental, creating within many people a pressure to be more like the celebrities we adore. Perhaps most affected are teens, who, already extremely self-conscious, must face this pressure. It’s an unhealthy obsession that makes a great many people obsess over problems that don’t exist. We’ve become extremely superficial. Everyone is somehow affected by this.  We’ve been trained to expect perfection in our culture, though none of us are close to it.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and my art work demonstrates that.  In my eyes, it’s all a lie, and I want to show that to people through this collection of glitch art. In glitching images often associated with perfection – celebrities, models, newscasters, pop stars – I feel I am exposing more and distorting less. Taking pictures of models on billboards and glitching them, I think, demonstrates the fakeness of these ads. No body looks that perfect. It has been altered. With the news team, I am simply doing the same thing they do – I’m distorting and twisting.

I’m extremely conflicted by pop music. I love how catchy it is, yet I hate how fake so much of it is. Some stars and groups are mere marketing plans thought of simply to turn a quick profit. Glitching these songs demonstrates my protest to this approach. We shouldn’t blindly accept something unauthentic.

Perhaps the most blatant example of our superficiality are shows like TMZ, who point fingers and critique people’s appearances and thrive off gossip – all done without a single hint of shame. Another example is how so much attention is given to celebrities such as the Kardashians, who really haven’t done anything worthy of the praise they receive. Sadly, we give it to them. Moshing these videos gave me a chance to demonstrate the true ugliness that lies behind these acts. A video of the Kardashians on the red carpet, being absolutely adored is fused with a puking Emily Blair, taken from The Exorcist. A TMZ video in which they make fun of Iggy Azalea’s SLIGHT weight gain is thrown in with a scene from The Elephant Man, in which John Merrick cannot escape the crowd that has chased him down.  My wild glitches can be seen as example of how this culture has changed us.  Just as TMZ immediately jumps on a less than perfect photo of a celebrity, we freak out when technology stops working temporarily.  Because of this constant projection of perfection everywhere in our society, we have learned to expect nothing but the best – but that’s not what real life is, and it’s not what true beauty is.
In glitching these pieces of media I hope to demonstrate that we don’t have to buy into all this garbage in order to be happy. True beauty lies in real people – not advertisements and TV programs.

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