This week’s reading talked about the powers of technology and the history and context behind revealing errors.
The article talked about print technology. It described print technology as having important effects on what is printed and how and these effects are often exposed by errors. When describing certain types of errors the printing technology brought, they discussed how, unlike a scribe who could re-write the errors found in the first draft, these technologies don’t have that capacity. For example, if someone were to make a typo, such as accidentally type the letter a instead s the technology wouldn’t be able to pick up and fix this error. Since this error is not fixed, a different message is sent than originally intended by the messenger.
It is almost like a giant game of telephone, as the message is sent through different mediums and is sent through a channel, the original message always gets messed up and changed somehow. This can totally confuse and change the original intention of the message. Thus this error reflects, or “reveals”, the errors of the technological system.
In revealing this error, users are able to recognize that an error was made. If we were to look at this concept in a broader aspect, we can relate error to revealing the errors of the world and the system that the world lives in. Doesn’t this definition seem more powerful?
When we look at revealing error in this aspect, we realize that error opens our eyes and has the power to expose the world for what it really is: imperfect. With users and members of society having the ability to view the world in this way, the ability and production of cultural and political movements can be made.
Glitch art is one of the ways social and political “errors” are revealed to society. This art makes a statement by showing us the exact error or mess up in the world. Thus, can we extend glitch art’s power far beyond the ability to make a statement to try and inflict change? Does glitch art have the power to create huge social movements and reforms? Does glitch art have the power to upset society? I think that it does.