As part of my coursework for this year, I was asked to make a GIF that explored a zeitgeist.With this piece, I aim to highlight internet censorship which has existed since the early 2000’s and still exists today. I believe that free speech, above all, is paramount for creative professionals to truly realise their ideas, not only for their benefit but also for the benefit of human culture as a whole. Everyone has the right to say what they think, whether their opinion is right or wrong, biased or unbiased, rude or polite and this is very important to me.
The artwork which I created features my subject smoking and giving the camera the middle finger, two things which censors would have jumped upon if this was being broadcasted to a much larger audience. The black boxes containing the words ‘censorship kills creativity’ act as a censor themselves, hiding the act which my subject is committing until the image glitches, revealing the truth behind the black box. I felt that a glitch aesthetic was truly important for this piece, in order to convey the idea of breaking away from the ‘censor boxes’ and reinforcing the idea that censorship forces creativity to seek new platforms in order to escape the confines which the latter forces upon it.
The main message behind my piece is not to shock people or produce feelings of disgust or repulsion, but to show how censorship can ruin an image, prevent a meaning from being portrayed or downright stop people from saying what they want to. Creativity is truly crushed by the weight of censorship, least we forget the even heavier weight that is self-criticism.