Embracing the Errors in Art

In his article, Tim Barker discusses how the new age of art is defined by machines, and how these machines are bound to create errors based off how they work. Since the errors come from inside the machine, it is representative of the machine and still a work of art, aided by a machine, the same way anything else would be. Instead of fixing these mistakes, Barker states that we should embrace these missteps and use them to enhance our piece of art. The notion of 100% efficiency has plagued the artist to strive for perfection when art doesn’t have to be perfect. Using the tools no matter if it’s an error or not, it shows how tools of the modern age have affected how art is viewed and produced.

He then goes on to discuss the process of an error and how this is occurs every day, like in computer searches and similar simple activities. These simple procedures could create a multitude of errors clouding up the communication. He claims that errors shouldn’t be seen as events that have actualized, as in, certain events that have failed. He instead suggests that these events are waiting to reach their potential. This potential he refers to is the thought that these ideas that were supposed to take place were instead altered by the machine. They are not affected by the user’s thoughts, but instead created individually by the computer.

These errors created by the computer can influence the artist as well. If an artist likes a particular error and chooses to use it, Barker argues that he can no longer be the sole artist. The errors brought about by technology have influenced him, and that the machine is to thank for this.

I however disagree with this statement. While it is true that the computer did contribute to this error, it was the artist that created it in the first place. By using certain techniques in a specific order, they were able to make the computer glitch, whether intentional or not, they were the ones who clicked the button and caused it. Therefore, I feel it is safe to say the computer aids the artist in the vision but doesn’t solely create it on its own.


3 thoughts on “Embracing the Errors in Art

  1. I too agree that overall the glitches and errors that are caused in a machine are not the sole product of the machine. Although the errors/glitches created may be unable to predict, they are still created under circumstance and parameters regulated by the artist and therefore should, to some degree, be considered a vision of the artist.


  2. I also agree with your statement that machine created errors are not the creations of machines alone. Because the artist creates the parameters within which errors are created, they are indirectly the creators of these errors as well.

    However, I do feel that credit to an artist would maybe be lessened if ever there were a sentient machine creating its own error, after having been created by the artist.


  3. I 100% agree with your assertion that Barker is wrong in stating that “If an artist likes a particular error and chooses to use it…he can no longer be the sole artist,” but I would take that argument one step further. Because mankind created the computer and perhaps more acutely the program the glitch occurs in, the glitch could never have existed without human intervention. Additionally, the artist sets parameters in which the glitch can occur in a controlled way, thus making the computer a tool not much different from a painter’s brush.


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