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  • Writer's pictureSophia Canfield

All Glitched Up!


Pastel Glitchiness - Artist Unknown

What are some of the key distinctions the author is making about glitch art?


I feel Daniel Tempkin is noting most how glitch art is usually very little actual glitch and much of it is a reasonable result of an effect or action taken to an image. I feel the reference to Clement Valla's quote is quite accurate and how we usually have quite a bit of control over glitch "art."

Though later on he references Rosa Menkan's quote, she states that by taking control over glitch art is "domesticating" it. Which I feel is quite true. There are multiple interesting effects we can apply to images which can make it unpredictable only if we don't know how to use the effect completely. I think this is why it's really fun as a beginner Photoshop user to experience using effects you have never used or known about and in their own experience, the unpredictability of that would be a glitch.



A Glitchy Self Portrait by me!

Are there cultural or technical reasons why you feel giving up control of the final output is important to these artists? And are there reasons you would or would not want to do this in your own work?


I think it is important for these artists to give up control possibly to even help with a little creative block. Creating something "noisy and chaotic" might be the answer to making a statement as well. Like Banksy shredding his piece right after it was purchased, this was definitely a statement on capitalism.


In some aspects, it is nice to have some predictability in the aesthetic of a piece, but I think the unpredictability is what can give a piece of art new life. I would love to experiment with some glitch techniques in this way. Unfortunately, I do find myself using the "domestication" of a glitch quite often like in this self portrait I have created, but there were still aspects that I could not predict myself and loved the outcome!


Here is a GIF I created of the process of making my glitchy self portrait from above in Photoshop:


Artist Focus:

"Dead Drop" By Aram Bartholl

Aram Bartholl is one of my favorite "new

media" artists. His work around "dead drops" amaze me and are certainly unpredictable if others will copycat and potentially hack your computer.. The concept of this is based on how spies would leave discreet packages for other spies in random locations. Bartholl leaves random thumb drives all over the world with unexpected files on them for you to uncover. This piece definitely gives the vibe of "a glitch in the matrix" for anyone accidentally discovering it!


One of his installations also includes "Pan, Tilt, Zoom" which has three CCTV cameras tracking movement around the exhibit. Which is completely unpredictable, so in my mind this would have a major glitch factor of them running into eachother or manipulation from the public - whether accidental or intentional.


"Sad by design" is also another completely unpredictable performative piece which was viewed only once in Switzerland as the screen was lit aflame as the art!

He "chooses to address origins, effects and legacies of our daily usage of social media through portable devices." Which I feel perfectly answers the question of why one would want to give up control and how he applies it towards his culture.


More of his fascinating exhibits can be found here!



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