Exercise 4.3: Similar but different: memes, cloning and replication

Ever since I first read through my course file, I have been looking for inspiration for this exercise. Memes are becoming an increasingly popular way to express thoughts about current affairs. I’m often in awe with how quick-witted social media users can be when they upload their memes. 

Then, whilst I was watching the England v Panama World Cup match, I found my inspiration. It seemed that the Panama defence would do anything to stop Kane and co from scoring. At times, it really did seem like a wrestling match. After a brief image search of wrestling on Google, I found the image below. I chose it because of the red trousers being worn by the wrestler on the right - it was the same colour as England’s shirts. I then used Adobe Spark to type the final score over the top of the image. 


Melanie Willhide

Not many people would be grateful to have their house burgled. However, if Adrian Rodriguez hadn’t stolen her laptop, then who knows how Melanie Willhide’s photography career would have turned out. When her lap top had been returned, Willhide discovered that her photo files had been corrupted. Instead of attempting to repair the damage, she embraced the situation and enhanced the distorted images.

To Adrian Rodriguez with love, © Melanie Willhide

To Adrian Rodriguez with love, © Melanie Willhide

Whilst Melanie Willhide has had an input into her final images, it is interesting to consider who can lay claim to them. Is it the burglar? After all if it wasn’t for his action then the images wouldn’t have been corrupted. Is the computer responsible? If it wasn’t for the lap top corrupting the files, then the art work would not have been as significant. Or is it Melanie Willhide? She had the artistic vision to pursue the concept of glitch art and apply this to her work.

As digital technology progresses, it can be difficult to determine where the photographer’s intervention ends and the computer’s begins. Whilst Willhide used Photoshop to enhance some of her images, I want to rely on the random possibilities of the image file corrupting. Therefore, I won’t be using Photoshop to manipulate any of my images.


https://slate.com/culture/2013/01/melanie-willhide-to-adrian-rodriguez-with-love-photos.html [Accessed 27/10/18]

Glitch it Good

In her article, Mallika Roy discusses the emergence of the glitch art phenomenon and how it relates to our culture. She conveniently summaries the different ways of producing glitch art. These include:

  • circuit-bending - retiring or altering the circuit in a device.

  • data-bending - opening files in a program which was designed for another file type.

  • data-moshing - intentionally losing data through file compression.

  • Z-fighting - weaving multiple layers together to create on layer.

I tried out a number of these different techniques. Some were more successful than others, depending on the file type being used. 

Roy (2014) explains that glitch art’s roots can be traced back to Dadaism and punk.  These ideologies suit the deliberate corruption of materials.   


Roy, M (2014) Glitch it Good: Understanding the Glitch Art Movement. The Periphery Mag.com Dec 2014 http://www.theperipherymag.com/on-the-arts-glitch-it-good/ [Accessed 26/10/18]