The aesthetic strategy and formal treatment used in a.k.a. Profile Glitch highlights the relationship between technology, image making and the representation of the self. The formal treatment can most easily be identified as three distinct modalities, delineated by the three part narrative structure.
PART 1 - The pre-commune elements will be represented through highly stylized family portraits. Each character's family portrait will be designed to reflect her socioeconomic, regional, and psychological situation, providing a "snap-shot" of the character's life prior to joining the intentional community.
For instance, Marty's family portraits will be stylized to look like they were taken at an inexpensive department store photo center with simple props and background patterns. There will be seven different images, portraying Marty at various ages and with different family members. Marty's mother abandons her when she is ten and there is a remarkable shift in how Marty presents herself after her mother leaves. Her fathers health also becomes increasingly poor. The shifts in the family dynamics will be portrayed through changes in the series of family portraits establishing the back story of the character prior to their decision to move to the intentional community. These photographs will be enlarged for the gallery exhibition.
PART 2 - The commune experiences with Marty, Maeve, and Johanna will be told as short video vignettes. These short (2-3 minute) vignettes will be shot in a documentary-fiction style. The compositions will be intentionally rough and the acting will have an improvisational quality. This is intended to contrast the highly stylized "polished" images of the first section as well as the online aesthetic of the third section.
PART 3 - The post-commune material will show the interactions between the characters online as well as their lives after the commune experience. The online video and photos will be stylized to match the formal properties of online video, mobile image devices and the social media environment. For instance, the square will be an important formal visual element in this section because it represents both the shape of pixels that make up digital imagery as well as the shape of online profile images. The images will be treated with a "screen" texture, and will be layered with data similar to augmented reality images. Although these images will not be compositionally pure as in the first section, the ability to self-select and make editorial decisions through framing becomes important. Graphic markers and visual references to this self-selection process will be included in the formal presentation of the content. The post-commune video of the characters offline will show the disparity between the reality of the characters life and how they perform themselves online. The formal properties of this footage will be stylized to match the personality and socio-economic reality of each character, reflecting the technology they would have access to. For instance, Marty's lower socio-economic situation would limit her access to technology. Her video would be shot on a cheap cell phone or old handycam whereas Maeve's footage, because she is a designer and has access to equipment at school, would be more artistic in style and of higher technical quality. Post-commune, Maeve becomes interested in documenting her life back in Chicago in order to stay up to date with Marty and Johanna. She is more involved in school and fashion events, posting instagram photos of fashion shows, photo shoots, and models. She makes friends in the film and photo departments and starts experimenting with 16mm film on a Bolex, which she borrows from one of them. She develops an interest in creating designs based on the aesthetic of color reversal film. She creates a project for school that is a participatory online fashion show of various people posing in their favorite outfits in their own environments. She recruits Marty and Johanna to be the first participants, posts an open call on facebook, and receives several submissions.