[-empyre-] Contextual Glitch

Gabriel Menotti gabriel.menotti at gmail.com
Thu Mar 1 00:52:37 EST 2012


Sorry, but I’m a bit slow to catch up with this week’s discussion.
Starting with some points raised by Andrew about glitch/failure:

> if failure is the goal, then presumably it’s
> not failure to begin with… [ANDREW PRIOR]

Agreed - but in that case, what is a failure? Does aiming for failing
(again; better) makes one completely immune to it? What about not
aiming for anything? Would that be the ultimate technique for dealing
with disappointment?

It is telling that the reframing of failure in another timescale,
making projections after-the-fact, often turns it into a historical
steppingstone (something evoked by expressions such as “blessing in
disguise” and “God works in mysterious ways”).

In that sense, how is the success/ failure dichotomy bound to certain

> Kim Cascone gave a talk in the Piemonte Share
> festival last year that reworked his ‘Aesthetics
> of Failure’ title into a statement about the
> ‘Failure of Aesthetics’ […] largely based on the
> recuperation of glitch aesthetics, the ability of
> the market to co-opt and repackage oppositional
> aesthetics into something that is popular,
> and commercial. [AP]

Again, to bring back one question from the previous week: wouldn’t
these art (‘critical’?) practices profit from moving away from the
discipline of aesthetics altogether?

What comes to my mind is Hito Steyerl’s take on the “poor image” (or
Francesco Casetti’s idea of “relocations”), in which the “aesthetic”
loss in embraced in favour of economic gains (e.g. cost, speed -
mostly access). Given these parameters (which are not merely
contextual, but operational), a tension with the market seems
nonetheless to persist.

The market can always co-opt the look&fell of, say, CAM movie
recordings – but can it co-opt piracy?

What about the art establishment?

> Are there ways in which the background,
> the context, the story, the meaning can be
> foregrounded within noise works? [AP]

It seems to me that such works still carry some of their “meaning as
failure”, making a degree of (counter-?)contextualization necessary
for their circulation in less informed channels.  For instance, at
some point in G/L.ITC//H Birmingham, Iman Moradi was telling me that
the infamous Kanye West video didn’t last long on MTv because the
unaware spectators thought its special effects were a real glitch.

Could this be an explanation for the integrity of the community of
glitch artists, as an environment that promotes a proper understanding
of its own production?

On the other hand, how much effort does the market needs to do in
order to appropriate oppositional aesthetics? And how does this
appropriation relate to (or build) public expectations?


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