A Glitch About Nothing

Video Example

Wireframe

A Glitch About Nothing

Abstract:

The name of our art installation is “ A Glitch about Nothing.” The project will involve the glitching and distortion of the series, “Seinfeld.” The content that will be glitched will be a variety of images, video, and sound as well. The reason for this is to be able to capture the very essence of the show, while manipulating to become something slightly different. The purpose of gitch is not only to distort or create a certain aesthetic, although glitch is a great way of doing creating an aesthetic, glitch gives us a insight on the boundaries and limitations of software or hardware. As technology pushes forward, so does the idea of glitch. Seinfeld is often described as a show about nothing. At the time that seinfeld came out, the comedy sitcom genre was defined in a different manner. However Seinfeld appeared and broke away from the mold of the family sitcom that had been heavily present in television since its very beginning. “ Dispute the operating templates of creative practice. Fight genres, interfaces and expectations!” However although it broke away from the elements of the family sitcom, it still managed to maintain some of them. In a sense Seinfeld glitched the idea of the sitcom. Seinfeld is described as a show about nothing. So it is going to be rather interesting to glitch something out of “nothing”. Our project will depict and glitch this beloved series. It will immerse the viewer through the use of visual and audio.

Process & Method

The very first part of our project will involve presenting the cast of the series. The characters the series that we will be presenting are Jerry Seinfeld, Elaine Benes, George Constanza, Cosmo Kramer and Newman, the most beloved enemy in the series, and his role is actually quiet fascinating. Seinfeld consists of 9 seasons and 180 episodes. This allows and opens up the possibility of doing countless edits, due to the high amount of content we can have. We will  gather iconic clips and glitch them up and form a compilation or clip show like thing. We can glitch theme songs for each character. We try to apply a theme for each character, according to their roles in the show, and they movement and voices.

Besides editing in after effects we could also use premiere. However I suggested the use of vhs and Bobby expanded on it by glitching the end result.  A glitch will be glitched. Expanding on Bobby’s idea, after we complete our glitched videos, we can transfer them onto a vhs. Once it is in a vhs tape, the fun begins. If time allows we can further manipulate and corrupt the film of the tape and manually edit. We can then use CRT’s in our installation if we decide to present it in this format, if not we can use a projector and ideally get 5 walls, if that’s possible.

Violet has a wonderful aesthetic and we can apply the way she uses colour and glitches it in a almost post impressionist way. Violet’s technique brings out the pixels, the fine bits, it could be compared to the works of pointillism artists.  

As we progress technologically, we seem to lost contact with each other. Technology although pushing the boundaries of what is possible tomorrow, it also acts as a wall that divides people. I wish to remind people of a time where we weren’t all glued to our phones, and where not everything could be solved with an app. We live in a world, where “there is an app for that” is a advertising tag line. The use of technology in seinfeld is also very interesting, although technology is portrayed and displayed throughout the show, it never is used as a solution, on the contrary it seems to cause even more problems. Which end up resulting in a many comedic scenarios. The show ultimately manages  to give the viewer an in depth look at this other world.

As for the roles of our group, each of us will apply our own aesthetic to different mediums. Seeing how violet’s image edits had a very unique look to them, she will be applying this to the different portraits of the cast members. Violet will also be doing some of the sound and audio edits of our instillation. Seeing how Bobby and Miguel are more familiar with the content of the series, they are working on gathering the video content as well editing it. Due to their being nine seasons, and around 20 episodes per season, it is a lot of content to go through. It is much easier for someone who is familiar with the content to be able to choose what scenes best represent the cast members and their character. The video content will go attached with the portraits of each character and will be used in order to present the audience with an idea of how the series and characters interact in their world. Seeing how there is a lack of an important plot line, and it’s the character interactions that make the show so great. .

To begin, the plot points and characters are well very mundane, on their own the scenarios present aren’t anything out of the ordinary. There is nothing about the plot that makes the show what it is. Instead the series focuses on the delivery and the reaction to the scenarios to create a comedic effect. Also its introduction of various characters over the years is rather fascinating, they managed to create a whole universe, an immersive world, that seems possible to coexist with our very own. The continuity in the series is consistent, with a lot of jokes calling back to previous episodes without acknowledging them, it’s up to the viewer to understand. The show truly is about nothing, although there was 9 seasons, and several plot lines develop over it, there is no definite “goal” or reason for the story. However the reason for this that, the show covered so many topics, it is rather difficult to pinpoint which of the topics or ideas explored define it. The show ultimately breaks away from every other show, in the sense that there is no deeper meaning to it, there is no symbolism, or idealism. The cast is shown to go through hard times and fun times, but in the end, everything is well, the cast moves on forward, whether the plot or problem is solved or not.

This is another example of how the series breaks away from the mold of the standard sitcom. There is no reason for the viewer to stayed glued to their seats, there is nothing to gain out of simply binge  watching the show, not that it isn’t worthy of binge watching. But if one looks at the content for what it truly is, it’s rather surprising and interesting how they manage to capture an audience using the format they do. The viewer isn’t binging for a romantic plot line, or any other long story arc. However, the comedy and the writing are what makes it a joy to watch. For this very reason, glitching Seinfeld will be a very interesting thing to do. Seeing how there is no story to be told in the content itself. Once we glitch it, its meaning and purpose becomes defined by our intentions, if we happen to have any.

We will be responsible for glitching each character in Seinfeld, and do it bases on each character’s characteristic. Since Violet am not that familiar with this TV as Robert and Miguel, she will first watch some of the episodes they recommend, and then pick her favorite one to work on. Each of us will be responsible on multiple clips. Since this show is “a show about nothing.” All the characters are normal people in the daily life. We can find their characteristics even in ourselves. Therefore, we will try to glitch each character with a style to distinguish each of him.

 

Most of the scenes in Seinfeld is composed of conversation, so there are many shot/reverse shot in each episode. We have an idea that glitch each character’s background with a similar glitch effect, so each character has a recognizable glitch background, and this will have an impressive effect in the shot/reverse conversation scene.

Since this is a comedy sitcom, there are a lot of non-diegetic audience laughing sound. We are also interested to glitch those laughing voices when we are glitching the episode or clip. We can try to lower or higher the pitch of those sound, or add band effect to distort it. Also, glitching the lines of the characters is interesting too. Highing or lowing voiceline of each will make them become recognizable. For the installation,  we should try to find a widescreen to play our glitched episode of Seinfeld. With a paper model of each model and poster of the title as decoration. At the end of the day is it going to be a rather fascinating work of art that can properly represent Seinfeld to the unknown viewer.

 

Glitch Around the World

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Started in 2010 in Chicago, IL, GLI.T/CH is a group of glitch artists who have curated exhibits in Chicago, Amsterdam, and Birmingham. Well-known glitch artists Rosa Menkman, Nick Briz, and Kim Asendorf are involved with this group.
The Ukranian Institute for Modern Art held an exhibition for Chicago Glitch Art in 2014. The exhibit was two months long and featured installations by Melissa Barron, jonCates, A. Bill Miller, Jon Satrom, Lisa Slodki, and Paul Hertz and free-standing installations by Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Curt Cloninger, James Connolly and Kyle Evans, and Channel TWo.
Glitch Moment/ums was a 2013 art exhibit in London, curated by Rosa Menkman & Furtherfield, that also featured a Glitch Performance by Antonio Roberts.
This film festival celebrates queer/trans/intersex people as glitches in traditional society. The films in this festival do not have to be glitched, but the queer glitch is essentially the theme of the festival. This 10 day festival takes place in March & April in Europe.
Moran Bondaroff is a contemporary Los Angeles- based art gallery founded in 2008.  The gallery features all kinds of art, including glitch art, which is demonstrated through their 2012 exhibition of Kon Trubkovich’s Leap Second.

Glitch Exhibits and Architecture

The first glitch art exhibit I’ve found was a multimedia exhibit called “Glitchicago: An Exhibition of Chicago Glitch Art” held at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern art at Chicago in 2014 from August 1st to September 28. It exhibits the works of 22 multimedia artists from all over the world. A round table discussion was held, asking the question: “once we induct glitch art into art history, is glitch art dead?” I would have loved to have heard how the discussion went. In keeping with the open nature of the glitch subculture, anyone was welcome to contribute their art to a website, which would be on display during the exhibit. Unfortunately, the website does not work anymore.
The second glitch art exhibit was held from April 6 to the 13th at Counterpath, a gallery space located in Denver Colorado. The exhibit featured six international digital artists: Giselle Beiguelman, Kim Asendorf, Rosa Menkman, Jimmy Joe Roche, and Rick Silva. According to the information, this glitch art exhibit features technological glitches marked by feedback, pixelation, color distortions, and static.
Titled “Glitch Moment/ums“, the third glitch art exhibit was held from June 8th to July 28, 2013 at the Furtherfield Gallery in the McKenzie Pavilion in London, UK. Curated by Rosa Menkman, it featured her artwork and seven other international glitch artists. This exhibit also featured a website for anyone to contribute their own glitch art. Unfortunately, it’s the same website as before so it doesn’t work.
Next is the permanent, or I assume its a permanent glitch art exhibit, since the exhibit itself is an entire building. The building is located at the Yinchuan Museum of Contemporary Art in China. The building was designed by WAA (We Architect Anonymous) as “a radical point of departure from the dominant design ideology of our times, a significant rupture of the orthodoxy”. The building must be understood in the context of the developments of architecture in the age of globalization, which has been ” a quasi universal process of homogenization, an unprecedented impoverishment of the diversity and complexity of architecture, to the point that even its rare exceptions also fall into the same mold and follow a predictable norm.”
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The last exhibit is not technically an art exhibit but the art museum itself, a permanent building called “H3333333K” located in Basel, Switzerland. It was designed by an art group called !Mediengruppe Bitnik and opened on September 8, 2015. The building was intentionally designed to look like a software error, a digital glitch of an image, hence the jagged edges.
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Researching about these glitch art galleries and having produced our own glitch art projects for Reel Loud gives me a better appreciation for glitch art and for the art exhibits that feature it. It rejects elitism by encouraging active participation from people of all artistic levels, thus ignoring the dualism of high and low art. It is a fluid form of art, and can serve an infinite number of purposes as an aesthetic art, a political art, in a wide range of mediums (film, painting, sculpture, architecture, etc). Glitch is the art of the masses.

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”.

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Digital Dualism And The Glitch Feminism Manifesto

It is interesting to consider how digital technology is becoming a huge part of human sexuality. Is Russell saying that orgasms are like glitches of the body?

Glitches remind us of the artificial nature of the digital world. They encourage us to return to the physical world.

We are so used to instant gratification in the digital realm. Glitches hinder this and force us to wait, often leading to frustration and restlessness. Maybe there is a lesson in patience to be learned from glitch. It is interesting to observe how the universe seems to fold in on some people when their Internet stops working for thirty seconds.

Is Russell speaking literally and saying that we should use glitches in our technology as opportunities to get down? I’m not quite sure how to interpret what she is saying. Maybe she means that our reactions to glitches, like losing your shit when the rainbow-wheel-of-death appears over Photoshop, can reveal deep insights about our selves, like realizing we’re impatient, impulsive monkeys.

“two selves, operating in isolation from one another, rather than one continuous self, two sides of a vivacious equation looped together in a continual narrative of daily living and human existence” (Russell)

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Woah dude…

So the glitch is the equivalent of foreplay when watching porn…

Glitch Feminism turns the idea of a glitch on its head. Since our current social system is already severely messed up, ideas that challenge it should not immediately be considered wrong. I think she proposes this as some sort of revolutionary thought when it’s a pretty obvious idea. Although I agree with the values of Glitch Feminism, she may be romanticizing it a little bit. Maybe not though. I’m not sure.

 

 

 

Glitch Feminism & the Queer Error

Legacy Russell’s article Digital Dualism And The Glitch Feminism Manifesto grabbed my attention with the proclamation that “The glitch is the digital orgasm.” In the digitization of today’s hook-up culture, this idea seems less abstract than others, but still was hard to totally agree with at first, because orgasms are associated with extreme pleasure, and glitches usually come hand in hand with interruption or frustration. However, the explanation of this theory made the concept become clearer to me, because the build-up of an orgasm and the glitch share the same stutters that incite the anticipation of something pleasurable- like the buffering of a video. Furthermore, both initiate an escape from conservative learned structures- both of how to conduct ourselves in our daily lives and on the internet and computer programs. While the glitch addresses the medium of the software that constrains our digital activities, the orgasm unearths the unspoken sexual desire that everyone experiences but is told not to freely talk about. The article emphasized the fact that “the glitch is the catalyst, not the error,” which destigmatizes the idea of the glitch as a sign of a faulty system, and shifts one to the realization that the existence of the system itself is the real issue due to the power structures in place.

The concept that really rocked my world was that of the glitch’s role as the split between our digital life and our real lives… I often think about how our lives are constructed through our online personas, and wonder how connected or disconnected these identities make us from our true selves. The glitch forces someone sucked into the Internet back into the real world, and allows a brief period of reflection on their actions and existence. This links back to themes of sex especially when a person watching porn experiences poor Internet connection or buffering. It makes one consider the position of their own desires and pleasures, either as purely online fantasies or part of their identities as sexual beings. I also think Russell’s coining of the term “Glitch Feminism” brings a plethora of new possibilities to feminism and art, and that the medium of the glitch is a perfect tool because it reflects the need to deconstruct the patriarchy that we often accept as the standard structures in place.

The article Queer/Error: Gay Media Systems and Processes of Abjection by Chad Parker and Jessica Rodgers also brought up many deep questions about the term queer and its relation to glitch. They point out that “Queer Theory itself constructs queerness as a kind of error” by defining the it as “whatever is at odds with the normal” (211). This claim privileges mainstream society’s definition of what is and is not “normal,” and constructs the “queer” outside of the acceptable realm. This may lead to a negative connotation to queerness, just as glitches are usually seen as negative occurrences. I think that this makes glitch the perfect medium to disrupt heteronormative societal values, because a glitch artist takes back these two alienated concepts- the queer and the glitches- and flips them on their heads to prove a point about their ability to create positivity and fight against the real hegemony in place.

Glitch Muse: Skrillex vs.The Beatles (Who Did Noise Better?)

 

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An accurate representation of myself listening to the  songs mentioned in this blog post.

This week, we are exploring the use of glitch and error in the context of sound and audio, and Peter Krapp’s chapter, Noise Floor: Between Tinnitus and Raw Data, addresses the ways in which noise has developed over the years into something that is now a part of our “aesthetic vocabulary” (62). One of the most interesting things about Krapp’s article is his connection between sound glitching and experimental music, which begs the question: how much music can be compressed in lossy sampling before it ceases to be music? (53)

I believe this is the main issue at hand, not only in this particular reading but also in a larger theoretical framework as well, because one aspect of glitching that I am preoccupied with is meaning, and the distinct changes in meaning that is derived when one chooses to impose error upon a piece of work.

Upon reading Krapp’s article, his ideas compelled me to reconsider what noise is, musically. Originally, for me at least, noise could be anything that I would call “garbage”. An unnecessary sequence of loud sounds, a cacophony of crap, and just a whole lot of shiz (pardon my French). And there is no better illustration of my own personal definition of noise than the ever-so operatic ragtime of Skrillex. Yes, Skrillex.

Now, here is a song that CLEARLY exploits sound glitches, noise, and multiple textures of distortion that can be heard throughout. To any normal human being, this song may very well be what invented the migraine. Does it make much sense? No. Will it make your ears bleed? Quite possibly. But of course, this may be due to what Krapp calls “the hegemony of a narrow operating definition of music” (57). And it’s true, because if it weren’t for this hegemony, then there wouldn’t be a distinction between what is “pop” music and what is anything beyond that, like the avant-garde or experimental. That being said, Krapp makes a good point when he mentions that different kinds of glitches in music can come off as all too similar-sounding:

“An important objection to casting the process of glitching or circuit-bending in an aesthetic dimension is that it might seem as if to a layperson, static is just static, so that different kinds of glitches would be indistinguishable. This could potentially be taken to mean that avant-garde art necessarily transcends an individual’s perceptual capacity, as repetition reduces originality and increases accessibility; because forms are intelligible, they reduce unpredictability” (69).

So is it completely reasonable that all the clicks, dings, and womps that you hear in Skrillex’s “Doompy Poomp” turns into a nonsensical fusion of literal noise? YES. Because according to Krapp, music that is so exploratory in sound may be beyond one’s ability to make any sense of it since its lack of formality and familiar structure renders it unpredictable. I’d like to think that Krapp would also not be the biggest Skrillex fan when he says that “music is not ‘electronic’ if it merely reproduces known sounds and forms”. SURELY, even The Beatles could produce better noise than this!

However, if that is the case, then what separates Skrillex from The Beatles and their song, “Revolution 9”? Is it a more credible or “artistic” piece than “Doompy Poomp” simply because it’s The Beatles? I would say no because it’s just as difficult to listen to as Skrillex, and both represent a musical style that sets itself aside from the easy-to-understand mainstream. But with all the high-brow criticism aside, I think that Krapp’s article has also allowed me to come to the conclusion that meaning is intrinsic to both the artist and the listener, individually, and perhaps sometimes even independently, for music is a medium that often celebrates resisting its semantics while putting on display the aesthetic freedom and opportunity.