This project was inspired by my time working as a clerk for a remote High Court hearing, which had to take place entirely via Zoom, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What struck me about the experience were the ways that the procedural formalities of the court space were hinted at, but could be quickly undermined by the platform.The prestige and formality of the process is certainly upset if a barrister accidentally changes their background to a jungle or another buffers into non-existence.
It felt as though the digital surface, in the spirit of Legacy Russell’s theory, ‘glitched’ the material power of the physical court space, Processes that had acquired their authority through appeals to tradition and history, could be overwritten in an instant, left to the mercy of the digital.
The Glitch Justice Review, taking the form of a government white paper, sets out the phases required to redirect the justice system toward more restorative models of justice, by surrendering to a digital operation and the glitches they bring with them. The white paper itself, is a glitch - a typical-atypical ministerial document, it dresses down exciting ideas in bogus equations, reductive qualitative data sets, itemising, dull, euphemistic or detached language, simplistic word generated diagrams, aphorisms and a mix of falsified and real references.
This disguise allows some of the more ridiculous glitches to sneak in unannounced, becoming a reflection on the reality of such inquiries, whose good recommendations often remain just that.