What is Databending?

Databending is the art of using software to manipulate data which was not designed to manipulate that type of data. Some examples to help spur your imagination might be:

Technical Backgrounders

In order to understand the fundamental concepts of what is being done in the following experiments, you should be familiar with these concepts:

See the Technical Backgrounder for more information.


Throughout 2019 I experimented with databending. Here are some of my results:

  1. Experiment Zero: Edit Compressed File (FAILURE)
  2. Experiment One: Edit Image As Audio
  3. Experiment Two: Edit Audio As Image
  4. Experiment Three: Image-Audio Mashup (Simple Layers)
  5. Experiment Four: Image-Audio Mashup (2-bit Technique)

Also check out my other bends for more examples and ideas.

And here are some links to other people who are doing cool databending and other binary-data experiments and projects! Respect!

Who Am I?

My name is Mike Mallett and I started databending experiments in 2019. I had previously become interested in the idea of files as single integer numbers, such as in the case of so-called "Illegal Primes", and have written some small programs to help understand, review, and modify individual bits in a file.

The culmination of these experiments resulted in a form of stenography I call the "2-bit technique" and is explained in Experiment Four. An example of the two-bit mashup of image and audio is available here.

You can find me on Libera IRC in the channel ##databending.

Please send feedback, questions, comments to databend@nerdcore.net