[-empyre-] glitch device/divide (slight return)

Curt Cloninger curt at lab404.com
Fri Dec 9 08:19:22 EST 2011

Hi Julian (and all),

I just got back from a run and during the run Walter De Maria's 
"Lightning Filed" came to mind ( 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_Field ). It seems a good 
example of a human-prepared "field" (pun intended) which greatly 
increases the chances of (what I want to understand as something 
like) a glitch event, while at the same time not "causing the event 
to happen (per se). The lightning will more than likely strike, but 
you can't predict exactly when. So is it human art or a natural 
event? Yes, yes, and something in-between much more rigorously 
entangled and problematic. The same holds true with certain forms of 
analog electric guitar amplifier feedback. I can set up a guitar rig 
to create an environment in which feedback is likely to occur, but I 
can't ever tell exactly what that feedback will sound like or exactly 
when it will occur.

To conceive of the glitch only as a totally unpredictable, 
unforeseeable, and uninvitable event is to imagine a world in which 
there are either completely random events or completely hermetically 
sealed systems, and nothing in between. This cosmology gives great 
agency to the unforseen "natural" glitch event, but little agency to 
structured human cultures and systems.Humans are impotent to 
trick-out or access the wild agency of the natural glitch event. If 
we are ever able to access it, by definition we must not have 
actually accessed it, because we were trying to access it. This is a 
bit of a semantic catch 22.

Deleuze and Guattari propose a speculative/experimental practice of 
deterritorialization. You intend to head somewhere, but by definition 
you can't know where it will lead or how things will emerge at the 
end of your line. It is a kind of rigorously structured accident. 
Such speculative practices presume the possibility of something 
between intention and accident, a yet to have emerged space, an event 
of emergent becoming (to tap Whitehead). To tap Bergson, an 
actualization of the virtual. Such speculative practices might be 
relevant politically in terms of teasing out heretofore unseen 
tactical fissures between the orchestrated catastrophes of strategic 
capital. Then again, they might prove completely irrelevant. Such are 
the gambles of this kind of art and theory.

Yes, there are glitches that cause plane crash catastrophes. The 1 
plane is flying, then the 0 plane is crashed. But there are other 
more analog-esque glitches that fluctuate in the margins between 1 
and 0. Less catastrophic glitches. Slower, stranger glitches. The 
gradual modulations of human language via grammatalogical homonymic 
slippages during lived/uttered events, for example. How might a 
glitch theory and glitch art be expanded to allow for and encourage 
the entangled spaces between totally unexpected catastrophy and 
totally systematic orchestration?


Julian Wrote:

>I most certainly don't think one can design glitches,
>merely encourage them or work with them. Parametric control of a 
>glitch would be
>an oxymoron in that one cannot choreograph an accident, only create conditions
>such that one is likely to occur.
>For me a great glitch is unanticipated, devastating, wild.

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