Week 5 – “Real” World, Tangible Glitch

This week’s reading having been published originally in 2014 was really interesting, and made me rack my brain to remember if I’ve seen any textiles obviously featuring glitched designs for sale or online anywhere. The fact that I haven’t seen much in thie regard leads me to believe it’s around the corner for Urban Outfitters, the glitched throw pillow just smells like something they’d be selling any minute. The analog armories section was funny but I have a feeling seeing this off a screen would make my head hurt- I support its existence and I think the reason it exists: likely to challenge norms and make one consider why all furniture tends toward common, unglitched design, is the exact reason I could never own and interact with it on a daily basis. As an art piece: really interesting, but perhaps extreme for successful retail sale. On the other hand, I’m very into the low poly vases and would absolutely buy. But is that just because a tendency for ceramics to be handcrafted and unusual is already programmed into my brain? Eeeeeeeeegh.

Everything about this listicle makes me think of the chef/artist Dinara Kasko, who makes 3d molds for cakes and baked goods. Her creations already feel like glitches in a way because their unique and precise shapes certainly don’t fit into one’s idea of a classic baked good, but that’s obviously the whole point.  I’m sure she’s had difficulty on occasion with getting a mold to turn out perfectly, and I think seeing her go through with a glitched mold would be amazing.

I’m sure others have commented on the coincidence of our reading about glitch in real life coming after a class cancellation due to lack of internet, but it does feel really beautifully ironic. Not just saying that because it meant I was able to go home and eat lunch earlier.

But the glitch of last week’s class also felt more pervasive than just the lack of internet in some ways. We weren’t instructed to actually upload our glitches anywhere to begin with, so everyone was unable to at the last minute in class. On top of this, I think the fact that the only true tutorial we were given states that we should ideally have prior experience in the software makes a lot about this week’s assignment feel insurmountable. Feeling like a lot of this class is pretty DIY, and like I have to seek instruction on my own but always be ready to upload content for critique despite not knowing where or how. Here’s to hoping others are in the same boat of trying a lot of different things until something sticks!

Week 5 Glitch Art and Material

This Vice article written by Sami Emory reminds me how discoveries can often be thought as some sort of mistake. Applying this into various mediums, materials and through art emphasizes to not be afraid to make mistakes and go against the grain. The dress in the article oddly works well despite its radical colors. It maintains an appeal and the eyes want to look into the details of the glitched dressed. The pixelated pillow and blankets are very cool and something I would want to own. There’s something about having glitch art on them that makes me curious and want to stare into them longer, to absorb what they are about. The analog armorie piece is something unlike any other previous ruin. I think of it as a modern ruin and am reminded of the leaning tower of pisa or the Parthenon. The further glitched objects such has the coded cards have a new dimension to what the purpose is. The cards oddly trace towards trying to beat a system or cheat the casinos from the glitched image. The scarfs are another piece I would own or buy for someone as a gift.

Glitch has many purposes in life and this article provides some intriguing perspectives to understand this.

A Glitch is a Glitch No Matter the Stitch

It was entertaining and frustrating to be interrupted by that glitch last class period. As we have come to be more accustomed to, the technology which propels us also hinders us. Similarly, we have become more accustomed to the fact that we should be able to fix this technology at an expedient pace and that the wheels on the bus will keep on turning. That did not, by our standards, happen last Wednesday. The wifi was off from the middle of our class period for at least another 5 hours, with UCSB updating students via twitter. It honestly was entertaining to watch given the fact that so many people harp on social media, yet in times of distress such as this or when there is a major emergency such as a shooting or something such as the fires last winter, these type son networks do allow us rapid and reliable communication from a bevy of perceptions which might not always see the light of day. In this particular instance, I also had to chuckle considering that the night before, my friends and I had discussed what would happen if a solar flare was to hit earth and knock out all of the power we are accustomed to. Of course this was on such a smaller scale, but it was interesting to see the disruption this one single tool caused across the campus, with multiple classes and extracurricular events cancelled and postponed because of this singular change. It really prompts a question about how we rely on technology, but it was also refreshing to see how many more people seemed relaxed due to the internet’s malfunction, as they now had less pressing issues to deal with. 

In looking at the article from this week, the main take away I picked up was how glitches are starting to factor into mainstream society. The old adage of originality being dead is seemingly destroyed when you factor in glitch art. The suit from the first part of the article was entertaining, and somewhat relatable, as we see more and more Hollywood stars and music industry moguls wearing similar items. It’s almost like when they wear these pieces it’s a stamp of approval for us, the normal ones, to do so as well. Similarly, there is a connectivity of this fashion being approved by Hollywood to it being approved by society in general. Ten years ago, the fashion seemed much more plain, and was likely a result of the conservative era we had just come out of following the main parts of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Now, however, there is the air of freedom that has come about. It might come from our recovery from this and other traumatic instances such as the recession, or it might be in response to the elements of our leadership which seek to limit our creative freedoms. Whatever the answer may be, it’s worth noting that the glitch is becoming more of a mainstream commodity. Take for instance the fact that the article we read was from Vice. This service is not some back-alley publication with no credible sources or identical thinkers, it’s a major network which has sprawls across party lines, gender identities, religious beliefs, and so forth. It’s quickly becoming at the forefront of our media and it’s reporting on the glitch movement only provides that much more credit to the movement’s relevance in the mainstream. Interestingly, the entire time I was reading the article and how glitches were being added to more and more products, the though which kept coming back to me was Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse. It’s a completely mainstream movie which garnered critical and commercial success and, spoiler, the entire movie from its social themes and message to its aesthetic to its dialogue are glitches based. It’s entertaining to see how something we saw as broken or a nuisance has suddenly made it’s way into the spotlight. The only problem I’d have to say with the piece we read for this week was the “Analog Armories” part. I know it’s just a concept but it just does not seem feasible due to the physics behind the craftsmanship that would be required to make such a thing. The vases I have seen in real life, but the 3D printing needed to do this is not too complex. 

Real World Glitch Art – Week 5

In the vice article “These 8 Artists Bring Glitch Art into the Real World,” Sami Emory exemplifies that the glitch extends past just the digital world. These artists combine glitch art with other forms of art to create a new and unique sub-genre of art. Of the bunch, the most interesting real life glitch art is Ferrucio Laviani’s wooden furniture. In his series “Good Vibrations” he glitches an extremely intricate piece of furniture that at first I thought was a rendering, but upon further inspection on Laviani’s website, he has detailed pictures of the art piece. Additionally, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez’s glitched kitchenware also stood out to me. His process is what really struck me. He starts by 3D scanning existing kitchenware, distorts the scan digitally, and finally 3D prints the piece using colored resin. I love the use of creativity in this one as well as the use of technology that is now available to the consumer.

Touch the Glitch

I  had never considered the notion of glitch art as spilling onto the physical world. In retrospect, I should have, but the idea of the glitch as limited to the digital realm was so strongly imbedded in my mind that upon seeing Feruccio Laviani’s designs of practical objects that utilise the glitch aesthetic, I was taken aback. The first question I had was “How is that possible?” Because to mirror a glitch (essentially an errant in coding) onto a physical object like a wooden piece, you would have to manually “glitch” the object, which is seemingly counterintuitive. So the second question that immediately followed was: “Why?”

While the article did provide a useful  explanation to accompany each piece, I don’t think it truly dealt with the “why?”. In my opinion bringing glitch into the real world goes beyond ‘a method of expression’ or an attempt to push the boundaries of a field. By manually glitching a physical object the creator challenges the role of the glitch as a digital errant and thus glitches the glitch itself. A powerful tool, it is more than a “glitch fad” or trend. As Slavok Zizek taught us a couple of weeks ago, it is the process of asking that matters, not so much arriving to an answer itself, and that is what glitch is all about. In fact, “Why not?” is just as valid of an answer as any, as long as the “why” is there too.

That being said, we have to keep in mind Menkman’s manifesto and her point about the dangers of glitch becoming “a fashion”. There is a difference between glitching the 3D printer to produce a glitched design and printing a glitched designed onto a pillow “just because”. While we have established that the “just because” doesn’t need justification, I will also add: as long as it is not followed by “it is cool”.

In terms of the “Internet glitch” in the UCSB system last week, while I was frustrated I couldn’t open GauchoSpace and study for my midterm, I just accepted it was out of my control and left it to be or not be resolved. In fact, had to take my girlfriend to the doctor and was caught in a wave of indifference for all wifi problems on or off campus; it was only after we came back and I talked to my friends that I realised how much damage and distress a few hours of software malfunction had done. A friend of mine couldn’t get food because the Arbor could only accept cash and she didn’t have any on her. She had to chase people down for a dollar. It is in moments like this that we are confronted with our dependability on a technology that is supposed to make our lives easier when running “right”. So what happens when it doesn’t? And can we take more from this situation than “I’m glad it’s over/class got canceled”?

glitch in the ~real~ world

What a coincidence it is that we are reading about bringing glitch to the real world this week! As last week’s class came to a halt because of a campus-wide internet crash, we have once again been repositioned and reminded of the nature of technology: not only does it come with errors and discrepancies, we as users also have a tendency to rely on systems unconsciously. What I’ve heard from a computer engineering student is that it was a Sybil attack that involves fabricating identities to block users from a network.

This particular event also ties into our reading for this week– in that there glitch has an affinity for reality. Its very existence relies on creators’ awareness and consciousness of their environment. With this, I also realized that I tend to enjoy the more “organic” glitch works from the Vice article . As I reviewed other students’ creations and my own experiments, I found that “natural” textures, materiality, and lines are heavily discussed. Laviani’s play on wood craftsmenship and glitch distortion exactly reveals this appeal in juxtaposition. Personally, I think this attraction has something to do with the “uncanny”, in that we are easily absorbed by this strange familiarity. As our minds go on a tug of war between our comfort zone and the glitchy rabbit hole, these artists will give our realities a little shake when we least expect it.

B3: Glitch as an Aesthetic and Procedure

This has only made me feel simultaneously a bit more unsure of how to define “glitch” for myself, but also helped me understand the implications of the word a little more clearly. One part of this article seems to suggest that it’s more of an aesthetic, another part of it seems to insinuate that it’s more of a quality of the design process. I guess it’s both, but that’s where I get confused. While the aesthetic is often created inadvertently through the procedure, figuring out if the procedure itself involves the glitching of anything or not is nigh impossible in many cases unless explicitly stated in the first place.
Continue reading B3: Glitch as an Aesthetic and Procedure