Midterm Article

When trying to produce glitch art it is interesting to think of it in terms of control and efficiency, glitch being a completely unpredictable process and so the results are often never definitive and depending on the piece it can be in a constant state of flux.

From doing research into glitch art and abstract expressionism I came across the BPMC device described as a “One-of-a-kind control voltage fuelled digital video corruption & glitch synthesis” (glitchart.com) which through sound signals allows glitches into images, this relationship between sound signal and image data is one that I found interesting. However, it was more from the work of Stuart Ateberry who creates glitch art through blending together frames and the sorting the pixels of these images in order of brightness to create a waterfall type effect that inspired the thinking for the project. It is work like this that embodies an ongoing state of movement, constantly unpredictably changing that grounded the framework for our glitch art piece.

In terms of sound, looking into readings such as the 2013 article on “Noise Floor Between Tinnitus and Raw Data” Peter Krapp explains the difference between noise and sound, writing that noise is the signal that the sender does not want to transmit as opposed to the signal which is what the sender has intentionally transmitted. In talking about noise he writes that it can “mark a potential to throw off systems of control by deferring the actual message received and sustaining the virtuality of equivocation”(Krapp 2013) . Moreover, he thinks that error should be seen as revealing the hidden truth rather than trying to hide it away. This is something that will be explored in our final project, especially when Krapp speaks about how electronic music can incorporate glitch to produce creative and unique forms. Something in particular which I have taken away from his essay is the idea that music is empty signification and resists any attempt for decoding, this is something that would be interesting to challenge and to play with how maybe music could be done in such a way that it allows for the signification to be decoded. Moreover, it is thought provoking to look at the different ways in which individuals might consider one sound to be music and to another individual to hear the same sound but consider it noise, as such I think that decoding signals can transcend from digital coding and into the realm of personal tastes.

Furthermore, upon research I came across a paper called “Applying sound art research in modern electronic music production” written by an Finnish Digital Culture student, Vladimir Radinović. In this paper he quotes Bolter and Grusin in saying that “The failure is the beginning of the fascinating chain of remediations” (Radinović 2011. 13), mostly what Radinović explores here is the “unpleasantness” that noise can create, however it is interesting to consider that when he talks about this he speaks of a being able to acquire a particular sound he was looking for (Radinović 2011. 14), for me this seems almost contradictory, glitch sound theory for me suggests noise to be an undefinable sound, yet seemingly here he is able to distinguish one type of noise to another, so it is interesting to look at to what point would noise becomes music varying for different people and their moods.

Moreover, this paper got me to look at the idea of hypermedia, which is described as a “style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium” (Bolter and Grusin 2000. 272) I think that this plays a large part in glitch art, by revealing the hidden errors and allowing them to become seen is a form of hypermedia, it as such does not allow the viewer to forget the coding make-up of the art and thus they are constantly aware of how the image is being presented to them. This is especially evident in Attebery’s work. Furthermore, I looked at the idea of Immediacy which has links through semiotics in which I understand to be hiding the link between the signifier and the signified so that the representation is considered to be the actual thing itself.  This is something which glitch art actively tries to protest; through the project which will be exposing hidden pixels of art paintings made by our group we shall be producing a text of hypermedia. Furthermore, the act of us ourselves painting the art which is going to glitched through Processing will take the text that step further in emphasising how the process takes place. Similar to the theorist Nunes who thinks that we live in a society who are obsessed with maximum efficiency and that error has no place in the mainstream society like this. According to Nunes, error “signals a path of escape from the predictable confines of informatics control: an opening, a virtuality, a poiesis” (Nunes 2011. 4) and he finds that enticing.

As such, linking glitch art back to visuals for the project, noting the work of Tim Barker who writes that the machine is itself creative and we can exploit error to show off this creativity (Barker 2011. 43) it can be understood how we want to exploit error within abstract expressionist paintings to create something new. He cites that an “artist’s role is to prompt a glitch or an error to arise in a specific system, then to reconfigure and exploit the generative qualities of the unforeseen error” (Ibid. 44) from his words, it would be suggested that there is a degree of control that can be implemented from glitch. The error is potential in the sense that it is not preformed or pre-programmed by the artist, it is along this way of theorising that we are looking to create our visual pieces, to a certain extent we will have control in producing the paintings although they will be improvised at the time we understand the limits of the human conscious compared to the limits that error has within a system and so it will not be until the paintings are put through Processor that we will be able to see the limits of error and the “degree of freedom” (Ibid. 46) which the programme will have for the project.


Barker, Tim (2011) “Aesthetics of the Error: Media Art, the Machine, the Unforseen, and the Errant,” Error: Glitch, Noise, and Jam in New Media Cultures, Ed. Mark Nunes. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 168-186.

Bolter, Jay David, and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.

Krapp, Peter (2013) “Noise Floor Between Tinnitus and Raw Data,” Noise Channels: Glitch and Error in Digital Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 53-74.

Nunes, Mark. (2011) “Error, Noise, and Potential: The Outside of Purpose,” Error: Glitch, Noise, and Jam in New Media Cultures, Ed. Mark Nunes. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 3-26.

Radinović, Vladmir. (2011) “Applying sound art research in modern electronic music production: Glitch, Loop, Plunderphonics and Sound Collage as tools of production” Glitch and hypermediacy. University of Jyväskylä


Glitchart.com “BPMC Glitch Video Devices” https://glitchart.com/shop/bpmc-ave-cv/ accessed on May 5th




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