PhotographerRobin Austen
PrizeHonorable Mention

This body of work began as a simple experiment in alternative creative technique, aesthetics and process, but has developed into something quite different. By using glitch techniques to alter, modify and destroy the raw code of a digital image, unexpected ghosting, aberrations, slicing and colour shifts occur, distorting the image and its meaning. Through this experiment, I have begun to feel that the glitch process can be greater understood as a new form of digital lo-fi. Similar to the individual, unique and unpredictable aesthetic qualities given by lomography cameras due to their often poor build quality, individual, unique and unpredictable glitch aesthetics are created due to damaged and incomplete data. This process taps into the idea of the ‘new aesthetic’ and adopts computerisation as a collaborator, as gaps of missing data are attempted to be understood and expressed visually beyond binary and code, creating the glitches we see, and giving evidence for a form of computer ‘consciousness’. A new sense of truth and authenticity is also given through this method, which shows that there is much more present below the surface of a digital image than that which meets the eye, tapping into the punk aesthetic, whereby the image is created, allowed to be destroyed, and then rebuilt to show how it is constructed, and where the process and its meaning is more important than the outcome. By using portraiture, fashion and beauty imagery as the source material, the viewer is asked to apply this same thinking, and question the often overly retouched images we see daily, and challenge the notion of truth and the representation of identity in modern digital photography, while also acutely questioning the notion of online identity in an ever growing online culture. However, more importantly, through this, we can explore, visually present, and comment on the extent of our new, ever growing scopophilic desire and obsession to not only photograph, but to attempt to actually ‘see’ as the digital devices that are now so firmly integrated into our everyday modern lives. This idea is further pushed, as a side affect of this particular glitch process transforms these images from 2Dimensional photographs, into 3Dimensional anaglyphs, which when viewed through red/cyan 3D glasses create a holographic effect, drawing comparisons with recent technological digital advances such as 'Google Glass'. Between this, the recognition of the first human medically classified as a 'cyborg', coupled with our ever growing need to both photograph and digitalise our lives, comments on our digital age and identity are made. is it possible that we will soon have digital retinas, and instant memory uploads to an online cloud built right into our bodies?