Glitch Art Featured on Off Book
As someone who used to keep (and proudly display) a collection of printed PostScript errors, I was excited to see the new episode of PBS Arts' great video series Off Book is devoted to glitch art.
What is glitch art? To paraphrase the commentators in the video, glitch art is artwork that builds on the computer malfunctions in an attempt to find the soul in the machine.
The source of glitch art can be a true glitch, which is the result of some random malfunction or unexpected behavior in hardware or software. Or it can be a deliberate glitch, created by an artist who alters files or devices to produce unusual and interesting results.
Philosophically, glitch art is also seen as a reaction against the hyper-realism portrayed in modern media, where faces are Photoshopped to remove all visible "flaws." Instead, gltich art embraces and celebrates flaws of all kinds, and uses them as a whole new vocabulary for creative expression.
One interesting section in the video is about the methods for creating glitches, and shows some very easy methods for hacking into sound and image files for anyone interested in trying their own hand at glitch art.
Also mentioned is the Vimeo group Glitch Safari, which is a collection of glitches found in the wild and whose contributors see "the magical quality in these sometimes fleeting instances and celebrates their aesthetic as machine art."
The glitch art aesthetic is also expanding outside the digital realm. A current Kickstarter project is seeking backers to fund the creation of Glitch Textiles, to truly bring the spirit of the machine into the "material" world.
Here's the new Off Book episode itself, for your glitchy viewing pleasure: