[-empyre-] glitch device/divide

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Wed Dec 14 05:24:18 EST 2011

Just checked and you seem to already have been unsubscribed

On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 12:19 PM, Michael Bell <mbell at visibleweather.com> wrote:
> please remove me from list
> Michael
> ........................................
> Michael Bell Architecture + Visible Weather
> Professor of Architecture, Columbia University
> Director, Columbia Conference on Architecture, Engineering and Materials
> Director, Master of Architecture Program, Core Design Studios
> www.visibleweather.com
> ........................................
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> On Dec 8, 2011, at 3:26 PM, Nick Briz wrote:
> I hope this list clicks on links...
> Marc, you bring up a lot of good points in that essay, getting organized
> openly is ambitious and/or rewarding and/or exciting and/or problematic
> and/or dangerous. This is something that we (the organizers of GLI.TC/H)
> are/have been dealing with + have had many internal/external conversations
> about. I gave the essay a quick pass, but will post my thoughts/questions
> after a more thorough read.
> John et al,
>> This is not to derail the discussion, but to encourage advocates to think
>> more clearly on what a glitch is supposed to be. A bug? The effect of
>> triggering a bug? Is exploiting a software flaw 'glitch' even if it doesn't
>> create cybersnazzy visuals or auditory effects? What if that software flaw
>> is a misconfiguration and not a coding or design error? Is a glitch still a
>> glitch if no one knows it happened? Are the mundane error messages in my
>> /var/log 'glitch'?
>> The truth is, the glitch art I have seen is so occluded and hermetic that
>> its impossible to generate a proper understanding of what glitch
>> practitioners consider to be glitch. Perhaps a form of getting political
>> would be to open glitch workflows and practice, explain the browser panics,
>> and do something beyond fetishizing the glitch (like, perhaps, explaining
>> it?).
> I myself have only really spent the last 5/6 years engaging with these
> (glitch) ideas directly (which I realize is far less than many of you,
> who've been on, "since monitors blinked green phosphor cursors"), I'm also
> new to -empyre- and am only starting to get a sense for the kind of
> conversation that it facilitates. The questions John Haltiwanger proposed is
> a compressed.zip of a disappointing direction this thread seems to be
> heading in. For all the theorizing + defining + [de]codifying I've done, my
> theories have been colored significantly (sometimes in unexpected ways) by
> the activity of these [glitch art] communities. Like Curt said, "It would
> help me to better understand what [many] are claiming if you would list some
> of these [-insert claim here-] glitches specifically."  Marc, there were a
> couple of incidents/situations the last few years that lead me to feel like
> glitch's, "most attractrive quality [was] sacrifice[d]" and that in fact,
> some very important doors where closed. However, the
> works/discussions/activities that followed proved me wrong, old doors
> weren't exactly closed, nor were new doors exactly opened (this is where
> binaries become problematic), rather doors became windows and new
> portals/wormholes spawned (as an example, the response to the Kanye West's
> music video and the "rise" of data-moshing).
> Regardless of whether we really understand what a glitch is, it's safe to
> say we have at least an awareness of its occurrence--we know such a thing
> exists. Proof is found in how, as Rosa explains in her book (link) it
> functions as a catalyst for artists/theorists/enthusiasts [this is the
> moment(um)] this catalyst becomes an array of impetuses, as I mentioned
> before. I should clarify, not every item in the array cares to "change
> culture" though some do. Proof again of such a moment(um) can be seen in the
> terabytes of activity found throughout these glitch art communities.
> As to the layers of potential (political/social/cultural/philosophical) that
> glitch brings, I agree with Julian that a "Purely aesthetic fetishising of
> glitch depreciates this potential." However, by no means does the Max MSP
> mimicry out weigh (or even out number) the (again terabytes) of engaging
> work that's been rendered in the fray the last couple years:
> [ Domesticated Glitch: as a search for meaning ]
> You've got a fair amount of artists who provoke/instigate glitches (as
> opposed to mimic) in the interest of presenting/exploring ideas, themes,
> concepts [this is one approach i.e. a few items from the array]. These
> artists often "tame" (as Marc put it) or "domesticate" (as Rosa explains it)
> these glitches to form a kind of palette/inventory they use to make their
> work + present their arguments. (as a side note: see Vernacular of File
> Formats and Ceibas: For Mobile Video Devices). One example of this approach
> can be seen in the works of Evan Meaney. One of my favorite glitch pieces
> is Shannon's Entropy, an ode to the godfather of compression Claude E.
> Shannon as well as a poetic/ghostly reminder of the assumptions we make
> about human + computer memory and [im]mortality (here's a video interview I
> did with Evan for the Art21 blog).  Another artist with a similar approach,
> though for drastically different ends, is Jimmy Joe Roche, who incorporates
> his glitch/palette in the interest of presenting/exploring/creating a
> digital-www-psychedelic narrative from a parallel dimension (here's
> a review I wrote for one of Jimmy's solo shows for Fnewsmagazine ).
> [ Unstable Files: as a political tactic ]
> Evan and Jimmy's works are stable videos, they're "tame" and "domesticated"
> (rather than wild and unpredictable), but this domestication is necessary
> for them to achieve their (very different) intentions. Other times artists
> have instigated glitches and have skipped the "domestication" process and
> presented (in various ways/forms) corrupted/unpredictable files to an
> audience/user. There are also different impetuses behind this approach
> (another few items from the array). Personally, I've done this to help
> identify/address the ways different technologies effect/color the
> content/media we receive through them and how this influence of the system
> on the information we receive often goes unnoticed (the system, of course,
> makes great efforts to remain invisible). One piece, an-uh-mit data (2008)
> is a collection of single frame (corrupted) loops, each browser interprets
> (and essentially remixes) these frames differently. In another piece, Black
> Compressed (2009), I upload the same 4min and 33second black silent video to
> various media hosting sites, none of the videos looks the same (nor do they
> look pitch black).
> "Take the simplest intentional glitch gesture, data-bending an image. Anyone
> on the glitch art flickr group will tell you that the content of an image
> has less effect on the way your image will glitch than the particular file
> format, the medium. A portrait, a landscape and a cat will all giltch the
> same way, a jpg, a gif and a png will not. Even in this simplest glitch
> gesture (a data-bend) we’re forced to address an image as a medium, a file,
> a container for ones and zeroes and not mearly as a portrait, a landscape or
> a cat. Regardless of whether you prefer databending on textEdit or in Hex
> Editor you’ll always have to right click that image file and choose “Open
> With”, because if you double click that file your operating system makes an
> assumption about what or how you want to see. Additionally, if you bend the
> image too much, your glitch file is replaced with an “error” message …
> another assumption. Glitches (and glitch art as a product/genre) that once
> existed may not, if the technology[ists] decides/assumes that you don’t want
> to see."
> --from my lecture (the medium is the [error] message) at the "Politix in/of
> Glitch" panel at this year's GLI.TC/H
> [ Fetishized Glitch or Glitch Inspired ]
> It's been called a "filter" or a "glitch-a-like", but I think rather than
> understanding the Max/MSP approach as invaluable fetishized mimicry, I think
> it's more useful to say that some work is "glitch inspired." This opens up
> the conversation a bit more. Yes, a lot of this work isn't particularly
> interesting to me, and sometimes even upsetting. But most of these artists
> do not intend to "depreciate this [glitch's] potential", as Julian put it,
> but rather are simply inspired by it, and often times this inspiration
> doesn't come in the form of an aesthetic injection but rather a conceptual
> one. This was the case with one particular submission we received but
> weren't able to include in GLI.TC/H this year (which jon.satrom recently
> brought to my attention again) called Border Hunt, "Participants collected
> entries from a database used to police the [US/Mexico] border. As a result,
> the border was conceptually and symbolically haunted for the duration of the
> one-day action as the border policing structure received over 1,000 reports
> of deceased migrants attempting [to] cross the border." Though, this is more
> glitch inspired than it is directly glitch art, many clear
> connections/comparisons can be made to other works like that of Evan
> Meaney's mentioned above.
> [Misc Items]
> There are so many more approaches and items in this array, but I fear making
> this email longer than anyone will care to read, but just to rattle out a
> few (to give more perspective to the terabytes I'm referring to), there's a
> wealth of real-time works/groups, like Vaudeo Signal and Cracked Ray Tube,
> which are great examples of framing/collaborating with unstable media, not
> so much domesticating it but rather caging it for a moment (riding the wild
> stallion) in a performative setting. Also, there's an approach/thread I'm
> particularly excited about that positions glitch as a playful rupture on our
> normative uses of technology (namely Glti.ch Kareoke and
> jon.satrom's prepared desktop series which was mentioned earlier). Lastly,
> to throw one more wrench in this "is-glitch-a-glitch-if-we-call-it-a-glitch"
> position, JODI. I think all I have to say is JODI, but in case that needs
> clarification, I expressed some of these thoughts during an interview with
> Chicago Art Magazine after their failed/succesful attempt to interview JODI
> over email.
> On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 11:55 AM, jonCates <joncates at gmail.com> wrote:
>> hi John Haltiwanger
>> you are correct that certain breakdowns && collapses that occur on large
>> socio-economic scales are planned in advance + set in motion by && for those
>> who have consolidated wealth + operate from militarized/corporate positions
>> of power, from bursting bubbles to controlled demolitions. these are the
>> logics of Shock Doctrines + Disaster Capitalism, as Naomi Klein writes
>> but when you write that the Glitch Art that you "have seen is so occluded
>> and hermetic that its impossible to generate a proper understanding of what
>> glitch practitioners consider to be glitch" im wondering what projects in
>> specific you are responding to?could you name a few that you are referring
>> to that have the qualities you are suggesting of being 'occluded' +/or
>> 'hermetic'?
>> also, when you write that a form of 'explaination' of glitch in Glitch Art
>> would be "getting political" by openning "glitch workflows and practice", i
>> wonder if you have considered what i wrote/posted earlier about Dirty New
>> Media artists using Prepared Systems +/or digitalPunk improvisation in Noise
>> projects? + mayhaps more importantly if you know the work of Nick Briz,
>> whois a participant in this discussion, whose work:
>> Copy This Drive - Nick Briz (2011)
>> http://nickbriz.com/copythisdrive/
>> + even more directly, his:
>> GLITCH CODEC TUTORIAL - Nick Briz (2010 - 2011)
>> http://nickbriz.com/glitchcodectutorial/
>> vry literally enacts what you are suggesting would be explicative Glitch
>> Art that opens + mobilizes politics...?
>> jonCates
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Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Cornell University
Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office #420
Ithaca, NY  14853
Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net

Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space

Art Editor, diacritics

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