Glitches be Trippin!!!
Week 10 Video Glitch
My buddy always has stand-up playing, so I figured I’d mess with some clips.
Week 8 Reading Response
I can see how glitch can be a useful tool to the LGBTQ and Feminist art movements, but I think I’m a bit lost on the level of importance these readings give glitch. Specifically the Russell piece, which words everything as if it’s found the solution for all the worlds problems. I’m aware that passion is a given when it comes to manifesto’s, but a lot of what Russell stated either came off as redundant, combative, and reductionist in my opinion. There are many claims about the power and effects of glitch on sexuality and gender, but there’s never any real explanation about how exactly it achieves any change or influence. One might say that her explanation of Glitch Feminism counts as a break down of the process, but her highlights are basically aspects that apply to glitch as a whole, making me question what the purpose of differentiating is if it’s just doing the exact same thing as regular glitch. I guess it just came off as kind of bourgeoisie to me because I can’t see the real practical use of this manifesto’s ideas outside of giving well-to-do educated people the impression that they’re tearing down some vague unexplained “machine” that’s manifesting all of society’s issues. In contrast to this, Parkhill’s writing resonated with me a lot more because it calmly and rationally broke down how glitch/error played a part in a specific societal perception, that of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and helped in the battle for progress. Maybe I’m just not getting it or something (I mean it is 3am) but I find that this kind of represents the difference between arm-chair activism and real activism. I’m not saying that you can’t have an open-ended movement with a vague idea that’s meant to act as goal artists should strive for, I just think that if your goal is that of social change then you need have more structure and precision or else that open-endedness just works to get your meaning lost on others.
Here’s a listen to some glitch sound I’m working on.
Midterm Artist Statement
The way my group’s project came to light was actually pretty straight-forward. We simply came to the conclusion after hashing out a number of ideas that were good in their own right, just not what we were looking for. That being said, I think where we’re at not is not only something that is fun and creatives, but pretty interesting in its own right. The project itself is called TerraTech (tentative title) and its goal is to be a piece that focuses on the connection, relation, and juxtaposition between nature and technology. What we mean by that is that we want to utilize glitch to both shatters the arbitrary boundary between technology and nature, but to also critique on the tech industry itself. Specifically, we want to discuss the inherent irony of companies like Google and Apple, who over the years have been making their tech look more and more like imitations of nature, i.e. wooded colors and floral/fruit imagery, yet from an environmental standpoint, they are directly contributing to the deterioration of the natural world.
That’s a very rough idea of what we’re going for, but for now I think it will suffice. To focus this more on my perspective, the project is something that I initially was hesitant on. However, after some thinking, I’ve gotten really excited and fascinated by the possibilities presented in front of me. I can’t say that I’m either a tech-head or even an environmentalist, but I am starkly aware of the kind of pedestal we as a culture put both concepts on. That’s why what I personally found to be interesting about this project is the comparison between our attitudes towards tech and nature, rather than the obvious differences. How I’ve always seen it, tech and the great outdoors both have this initial collective perception that is clean and pristine. We think of nature as majestic and awesome, visualizing grand landscapes and peaceful animals frolicking around. Technology has a similar perception, at least in this era, as very sleek and stylish. Something that is very much elegant and flashy, yet still made appear simple and almost homemade. In a way, I think both are sort of fetishized to the point where we see them as either infallible or always on the side of good. That’s why I want to use glitch to maybe break that idea and reveal how the tech industry is exploitive and somewhat destructive, while nature is still kind of unpredictable and harmful towards lives at a time.
Now obviously we didn’t come with this idea on our own. I can only speak for myself, but I have pretty heavy influences in both the conceptual and practical aspects. Works like Nina Katchadourian’s “Natural car Alarms”, in which she replaced New York City car alarms with the sounds of birds and other animals, or the Gorillaz album “Plastic Beach”, which is a concept work about a society that has completely abandoned nature and created fake replicas, really tackle subjects that have a similar mentality to our. I’m trying to really look at what they did and see if I, and the rest of the group, can find methods in their works that we could borrow and utilize. On a more aesthetic end, I think I personally want to bring in some elements of not only glitch art but meme art and perhaps some elements of vaporwave if possible? My reasoning behind the other two forms is because meme videomaking, such the works of Eric Andre or the YoutubePoop movement, are really really good at taking things down a peg and breaking preconceived ideas in a way that somewhat comedic and critical. Vaporwave just because I think from a purely aesthetic value, it works by focusing on the apparent aging and fact that these things won’t be so pristine forever.
The format of the video itself shouldn’t be anything too out there. It’ll probably somewhere from 5-10 mins and narrative is not really something that I think this work really needs. It’s more of an experimental video than a traditional story-telling work with a message. I want to keep it open to interpretation so that the audience can make their own assumptions on what this project is, and also so that each of us is able to put in sprinkles of our own ideas in there. I think out of all of us in the group, I probably have the most experience with editing software and art-making in general. So I think my role will probably be just manifesting everyone’s ideas into a physical and coherent whole. I know I can be a bit of a loner when it comes to creating, probably because I’m used to making pieces and installations by myself, so what I’m really trying to focus on for this project is to let other people do the conceptualizing instead of me just trying to take the wheel for the whole project.
Overall, I think this project is gonna be something that won’t disappoint us as a group. Like I said, I can’t speak for everyone. But I think we’re all pretty excited to see where this going to go and we all have our creative juices flowing like madmen. In the end out work should something that is shocking, interesting, political, satirical, but most of all just plain fun to make.
I think that both of these readings really tackled the concepts that we’ve all kind of been hinting towards this quarter, and that’s the idea that glitch’s fascination lies in its inherent ability to challenge systematic structures. Nunes, in particular, focuses on how mishaps and errors can carry political and countercultural connotations. I wouldn’t go so far as to say glitch is political, but I can definitely agree that most likely the main appeal of glitch is its power to jam established ideas and iconography. In fact, I’d argue that what turns people on to glitch is a sort of sense of rebellion or misconduct because one has to literally break a defined system. Oddly enough, I find the act of digital glitch to be a very human one. For me, it stems from people’s natural uncomfortableness with perfect, or at least seemingly perfect, presentation. I think that we naturally want flawless systems, but we also get this kind of uncanny feeling when we actually have something that comes off as flawless. So then what glitch may be is a reaction to make these digital systems, that thrive on a mechanic sense of perfection, and in a way make them more human by giving them flaws.
Now for the case of glitch sound, my opinions reel a bit more away than what Krapp discussed. I think there is certainly a case to be made for the use of glitch sound as a way of also breaking down defined systems of noise and music. However, I think the public’s wider fascination with glitch sound is more rudimentary. I think it’s more of the novelty or foreignness that pulls people’s attention towards it. What fascinates many, I think, with glitch music is that these are sounds in which many of us are either not accustomed to, or have never heard in the first place. I see it in the same vein as the fascination with electronic music in the 70’s and 80’s. Of course, that’s not a way of saying the glitch sound isn’t breaking new barriers, far from it. I believe that in the same John Cage utilized the sounds of everyday objects to create new kinds of music, glitch musicians are finding ways to turn digital and analog technology into pseudo-instruments that make up some of the freshest and most interesting sounds. What fascinates me is the blurring of lines between what is noise and what is music/sound. When we think of glitch in relation to sound, we automatically go to thinking that sound must be unpleasant. What glitch musicians seem to be doing then is either create glitches that can be beautiful in their own ways or maybe even embrace the fact that their rough and sharp to redefine what music is in this very polished digital age. Overall I think this is an interesting time to be looking at glitch in not only the experimental scene but the popular culture because it’s starting to gain traction with the public and therefore more artists. It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to see what comes of it!
Project 2: 3-D Glitch Exercise
Well this certainly was an interesting experience. Right now I’m just trying to understand how to use Blender and Meshlab so there isn’t really a thematic connection to these glitches, just trying to see what I can do. At the moment of writing this I haven’t done much, but as the week goes by I’ll add some more work.
The Prodigal Son- William Theed Jr. (19th Century)
Mars (Classical Period) Blender Demonstration
Week 2 Reading Response: Tim Barker, Aesthetics of the Error
I think what fascinates me most about glitch is that at its core, glitch art made by a machine rather than an artist. Obviously, I know that’s not necessarily the case, and that the idea of art without an artist seems like a very bland one, but I think this reading gives a great explanation of what I mean. Barker’s explanation of the artistic merit of mistakes and mishaps really connected with me since I see glitch art in the same way I see jazz, being that both rely on a sense of randomness and improvisation as much as technical ability alone. For Barker, you get the sense that his idea of the perfect way to create art is for the artist to simply create a concept and space for the tool (in this case the digital mechanism) and let the process come about on it’sown. It may sound kind of mundane and lazy, but from my perspective, it’s more like a sense of freeing the art from the confines of the artist. I’m not a full-on death of the author guy, but I really never understood the fascination with looking at the artist over the art. With this embrace of error though, the artist is less in control and the art is free to in a way manifest itself. It is pure art, free from the constraints of human bias. That’s probably a little too enthusiastic, there is still human interaction after all aside from the blatant fact that error aesthetics still originate from human-made tools, but that kind of mentality is, in my opinion, a good way to look at how to make glitch art. For me, Glitch is most fascinating when it feels like the program or computer has a mind of its own and that what is going on is an actual mistake. Like how Barker mentioned, the fascination is Duchampion in that ideas and concepts are far more emphasized and fascinating than merely a purely aesthetic purpose. In fact, I feel that the uglier and more distorted the glitch, the better. For me, glitch art is like shattering glass, the intrigue comes from taking these established and define concepts and breaking them down in a way that gives them a recontextualized, or maybe even unexpectedly new, meaning.
Project 1: First go at Glitchin’
Though I’m nowhere close to competency yet, this is my go at glitch art. It’s still a little rough around the edges, but I really like the fact that it is. You may notice that all the pictures have a kinda cutesy in tone. The reasoning behind that is sort of an attempt to jam, break, and I guess glitch the kind of stereotypical ideas and expectations of female innocence and youth. Personally, I was one those boys that had a lot of my early tastes dictated by my older sister, so these were the types of images and colors that surrounded me until I was about 14. I had no qualms with that, in fact I loved anything from my little pony to littlest petshop, so the idea of “girly” always seemed more like a badge of honor. But with hindsight, I’ve grown to have a complicated relationship with this pink-tinged style because I’ve found that it sort of pigeonholes people, most of which are young girls, into this hegemonic perception of how you should express yourself. A reinforcement of what “normal” femininity is, which both alienates girls by forcing upon them what their interests should be, and boys as well, by stating that these kinds of things are not made for them. Despite this awareness though, I don’t have it in me to fully mock or destroy the types of images and ideas that defined my childhood, so many of these are half-distorted or partially visible. I guess because it’s sort of a way for me to say that although I’m pretty jaded, I still have genuine love for these things.
The other note to point out would be the Japanese relations i.e the pics of anime, idols, harajuku, etc. That’s a mix of both my love for Japanese culture in general, but also because of an attempted commentary on the concept of “Moe” which in VERY broad terms is the appreciation and love for things that display very cute, weak, and innocent attributes. While the concept is far more nuanced and not inherently a bad thing, a good amount of fans and creators in the realm of anime, manga, idol, and otaku culture have taken it into the realms of fetishization over small, girly, and often young girls. The iconography for what characterizes moe is similar to that kind of girls-toy-section style, and so I wanted to kind of blend that in and glitch that idea of cuteness that these images have. If anyone wants to know more about these concepts feel free to bring it up to me because I most definitely didn’t give a full description of what they are, I just wanted to give an idea of what was going through my head while making these pictures. I know my skills still need some work, and maybe the ideas I’ trying to tackle are a little out of my range right now, but I didn’t want to just make random glitch pics so I decided to sort of have a theme. Hope you it’s good enough for you to enjoy, I’ll see what I can do for the next project.
Individual and more images in the box. https://ucsb.box.com/s/b5aauy1k1ab5dik1t23mmsy5t965wl5p