Digital Dualism and The Glitch Feminism Manifesto by Legacy Russell




DSC_0163a-smaller_670.jpgDigital Dualism and The Glitch Feminism Manifesto by Legacy Russell


One of the only lines that is bolded in this article states, “The glitch is the digital orgasm” the sentence continues to anthropomorphize the computer (machine), explaining, “…where the machine takes a sigh, a shudder, and with a jerk, spasms,”. Russell explains that these pauses are a routine and that they are not errors but rather catalysts. An accident that is similar to foreplay that essentially is teasing you.


Russell then explains the connection of Glitch to Glitch Feminism as glitch has been culturally defined as an error or malfunction. Glitch Feminism on the other hand takes the negative implications of glitch and opposes that notions. Glitch Feminism “turns the gloomy implication of glitch on its ear by acknowledging that an error in a social system that has already been disturbed by economic, racial, social, sexual, and cultural stratification and the imperialist wrecking-ball of globalization”. I understand this complicated sentence as stating that when you acknowledge that certain things that are deemed errors are just cultural and globalized creations then the negative implication of the “thing” is flipped and in itself, that acknowledgment, is a form of departure from that hegemonic system and structure.


Associating Glitch and Feminism together is the ultimate form of empowerment fighting against notions of “other” and inequalities. Russell states the Glitch Feminism is “feminism for a digital age” as it advocates for selfhood while using glitch as a tool to reject any notion of being “less than” or “abnormal”.


In my opinion, I think combining the terms Glitch and Feminism is something I never would have thought to do but through this reading makes absolute complete sense. Both represent marginalized communities or those excluded, “sub”.


The art of glitching is not as simple as I initially thought. These readings break down what seemed to be simple concepts into long complicated breakdowns of the concepts behind glitch, errors, noise, and the impact on society and art. It was unexpected to see how the concept of the glitch implements itself into many aspects of human history and expression. And while it is not that clear to me what it is supposed to be, the readings did reinforce and illustrate the significance and the purpose of error and glitch.

The Slajov Zizek’s reading brings up the concept of experts and not being taught to think, but how to think. They address the idea of “true thought”, and how our current system put in place and our current society is not concerned with finding what questions to ask and what issues there are, and is far more concerned with simply creating individuals that have the ability to solve the problems that they are told are problems. Zizek advocates a new more creative form of education, one that doesn’t simply outline what must be done, but one that encourages individuals to expand their minds and the minds of others, by looking at issues on a more global level instead. While not explicitly about glitch it does bring into focus the concept of a controlled and proper system that many of us have assumed must be how things are. It brings up the concept of breaking through what is expected and finding the new, strange, and impactful.

Mark Nunes’s article breaks down the concept of glitch and writes directly about how glitch fits in regards to the rules and structure of our technologically advanced society. He gives a brief history of the terms of glitch and error, and shows that it has always in some way or another meant a type of deviant or unexpected behavior within societies, data, and more. Nunes brings up how glitches and errors, while breaking the façade of perfection in our programs and systems show the truth and reality behind them. There is beauty in the error. Perfection, absolute control, and certainty are broken down by glitches and errors and show the true reality.

The final reading’s link on the website led to a 404 error page instead of the PDF, which is kind of funny in a way. I did manage to find a PDF of it online, Glitch Studies Manifesto, by Rosa Menkman, this manifesto brought up the concept of noise. The imperfections that many artists want to hide are interestingly where their work comes from. The manifesto makes an argument for noise, comparing it to a force of nature such as a storm or lightning. Noise, glitching, and errors, are all means in which progress can be made. Break things down and build them back up, find errors and noise and let them take you down a new path, and maybe you can make something new.