Glitch art at the New Digital Art Biennale
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale is officially open to visitors. The amount of digital art work arrayed across its 30 or so online pavillions is gobsmacking, and I heartily encourage you to go lose an afternoon in there. The Wrong obsensibly has no theme, instead devolving curatorial responsibility to each of the talents in charge of the pavillions. But its name, coupled with its official partnership with the Glitche app (which allows iPhone users to glitch their own images), makes me wonder what sort of glitch art will be exhibited.
The existence of apps of the same ilk as Glitche has caused some to bemoan their existence and decry glitch as a dead medium. Such histrionics are misplaced –glitch has been dead for some time now, but that hasn’t stopped artists doing creative things with its cadaver. Seeing The Wrong embrace the existence of such apps augurs well for the kind of glitch we may find therein. Here’s the most interesting artists experimenting with glitch.
The team behind the Wonder-Cabinet-of-the-Big-Electric-Cat pavillion is evidently exasperated with shallow glitch art works. In their artistic statement, they write that all artists participating in this pavillion started from the same point, “the 1982 Adrian Belew music video ‘Big Electric Cat‘, which still blows away much of the contemporary retro-glitch campy bad prosumer-FX fetishism that so frequently pats itself on the back as novel in certain Tumblr-centric, gif-centric contemporary net art circles.”
Ouch. Tumblr, some water for that burn?
For his exhibit at the Wrong, Stuart Keenan is applying the idea of exquisite corpse todatabending, and in so doing embraces the ubiquity of glitch visual tropes in order to try something new. The mesmerising results are reminiscent of the I Am Google Tumblr, as each successive image departs further and further from the original as the distortions accumulate.
“Screen dazzlers” are material glitch art in its most succinct and spectacular guise. The idea stems from Commodore 64 gaming magazine Transactor‘s publication of C64 code, designed to “torment a cathode ray and demonstrate the lightning speed of machine language.” Notendo has revived this magickal code for his contribution to the pl41nt3xt pavilion.
Matt Bernico, aka he of Society Of The Glitch Tumblr fame, also has works exhibited in the chaotic Homeostasis Lab pavillion. Matt’s work is recognisably glitch, as is his tumblr.
The stark black and white GIFs and the harsh noise music track accompanying Jon Cates‘ website (you really need to check it out as the GIF above doesn’t do it justice) is a pointed reminder of the natural overlap between glitch and noise art, one of the strands of glitch art that gets glossed over in its more app friendly incarnations
Greek artist Laimonas Zakas (aka Glitchr) has contributed a very impressive canvas of digital errata, arising from his experimentation with Facebook coding. Like Hypergeography but for social media glitches.
Sub Rosa are a great label for experimentation – it was they who fomented the first electronic music appropriation of EVP and here they are working with Tachyon+. Tachyon + make bespoke glitchy video-mixing machines – providing the equipment needed to add a pixel bleed veneer to your chosen music video. To compare and contrast glitch videos, check out Mark Fingerhut too.
The paintings from this Rio artist are an example of how glitch is drifting from its original meaning, inspired by the signal bugs which interrupt analog TV transmissions. If you’re a fan of glitch news, the Tumblr which documents glitches in news broadcasts, you’ll note that Andrade’s paintings looks different. That’s because analog TV and digital TV (or either form of radio) produce glitches particular to their medium of transmission.
Another requiem for analog TV can be found in Casey Reas’ Infinite Command Team – a work that collages snatches of terrestrial TV transmissions into a glitch influenced digital colllage.
The Wrong runs until December 31st. Among the highlights is an entire online gallery hosted on the Darknet http://thewrong.org/Beautiful-Interfaces
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