Glitch Perfect: Malfunction and the Machinic Assemblage of Girlhood
Abstract

Abstract:

Supplementary material for this article can be found online at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/var/media/43.1/wolfgang/index.html.

This short experimental article, which can be accessed at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/journals/var/media/43.1/wolfgang/, introduces a concept of Glitch Feminism as a digital tool of creative resistance that disrupts a normative gendered identity and fabricated female body in 21st-century digital cultures (Russell, 2012; 2013). It showcases video work by adolescent girls in a juvenile arbitration program who used glitch effects to “break” music video clips by popular female artists and their own self-directed videos, to thereby render female bodies on screen as ambiguous, flawed, and indistinguishable. This action of glitching challenged surveillance and fetishization of female bodies in social media and popular digital cultures and allowed girl participants to play with self-representations outside of the institutional labels of “law offenders” and girls “in trouble.” To better represent the complex entanglements and intersections of theory and the girls’ digital productions, we use the interactive storytelling format of Twine (https://twinery.org), linking text and still and moving images in a nonlinear fashion, and prompting the reader to continuously move back and forth between the conceptual ideas and visual representations to embrace incompleteness, ambiguity, and inquiry.


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