Glitch art is for more than just niche Tumblr odd balls and references to the early stages of digital animation. Rhizome created a whole series called "Formalism and Glitch," and the format has made its way from music videos to DIY tools that allow you to create your own data error-heavy creations.
This week, artist Daniel Temkin is adding to the increasingly-respectable style by showing his collection, Glitchometry at the Transfer Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The installment pays homage to the aesthetic and experience of computer malfunction in all its glory through sound, color, image, animation, and everything in between. All in all, the show celebrates the beauty in process rather than perfection, and revels in accidental art.
While people originally began collecting inadvertent digital malfunctions for their entertaining qualities, a whole new generation of creators is founding an entirely new field via replicating and engineering glitches for results that are half intentional and half up to "the ghost in the machine."
Side note: one simple way to do this is to resave a sound file under the file extension “.raw” instead of “.mp3” and open it up as an image that provides a total abstraction; a meaningless but direct transcription from musical data. Similarly, one can take an “.img” file and reopen it as a “.txt” file, then tinker with the resulting text and open again as an “.img” file to see some wacky results.
However one does it, artists, appreciators, consumers, and irreverent hackers alike are finding that making and/or viewing glitch content is refreshing and even empowering in a high-definition, high-resolution, hyper-saturated, photoshopped, overmarketed world.
Great strength and potential lies in “the notion that we don’t have to accept what’s been handed to us,” says an in the PBS video The Art of Glitch.
“In the way that punk music was a reaction against this hyper polished commercial rock and roll of the time, glitch art is also a reaction against the hyper realism that’s portrayed in contemporary media,” says artist Phillip Stearns in the short.
There is also a great sense of relief in finding that imperfections are not disasters, but can rather make for some lovely and spontaneous creations. DJ/visual events that center upon real-time editing have been a thing for a while now, and Glitch Safari and all its spinoffs are continuously stockpiling its comprehensive but never exhaustive archive of any viewable glitch ever made or found.
Not only is this weekend the last call for Glitchometry, but Saturday, December 14th coincides with the launch of an associated show at Transfer touted as a must-see in this week’s Art F City:
Also curated by Temkin, Net Vvorth, the compilation of “all counterfeit” net art by 50 net artists and their imposters, will screen at 7 p.m. at the gallery (at 1030 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn) and simultaneously go live at http://netvvorth.com/. This will come in conjunction with the kickoff of an online auction house with the meta-goal of supporting the support of art that challenges conceptions of “legitimate” art by peddling virtual fascinations. In the spirit of the glitch, no matter what happens, the show will go on.
Glitchometry is showing at Transfer Gallery through this Saturday, December 14th.