Useless Machines

This reading brought up some interesting insight in the concept of glitch art. It seems to focus on how the art shapes itself more than the artist shapes the art. Tim Barker’s example of the Useless Machines perfectly exemplified his point about the artist only really needing to put together the mechanism that is going to be glitched. The mechanism is put in place and there are certain things that can be done, but what it does and when it does it is entirely out of the artist’s hands. Tim Barker makes a good point about how glitch art is revealed by natural occurrences and how it shows the truth behind the object. Glitch art reveals the structure behind the design.

Tim’s next example about brings up the idea and concept behind how the glitch is more focused on the individual who observes the piece than how the piece is constructed. The website is itself a glitch and how people try to maneuver the website expands the piece and expectations of what is supposed to happen are subverted and twisted.

Reading this brought up many questions and introduced new ideas of what it means to create glitch art. The glitch is virtual, but it must also be natural in a way. It also needs to be planed out to some extent. How much of the piece needs to be planned and expected, and how much needs to be fluid and spontaneous? The example of the white painted canvas comes to mind. It is a piece that has been worked on, and the borders and constrains of the piece of art have been established. But the point of the piece is dependent on forces out of control of the creator and are shaped by the crowds and audiences that view it and participate in making it what it is means.


3 thoughts on “Useless Machines

  1. When you spoke about the preparation that goes into glitch art it got me thinking about remixers and the remix culture. While some people glitch pop culture spontaneously and just for their pure amusement, does that mean that is glitch? Is what makes something glitch is intention behind the piece or can someone make glitch art without even noticing it?


    1. I really liked that you mentioned the white canvas example as it is one of the main things that comes to mind when I think about glitch art. I find it very interesting to think about how the artist may set up the path for a work of art but does not have full control of the outcome.


  2. I think your analysis could be refined when you say, “The glitch is virtual, but it must also be natural in a way. It also needs to be planed out to some extent.” I don’t think the glitch is necessarily planned out, but rather invited to happen by the artist. Glitch, by definition, is an error or an unexpected disruption. I think that the nature of this unexpectedness is such that the artist’s intentionality to have a glitch occur is where glitch art derives it’s meaning, not necessarily in the artist’s calculated planning.


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