Blog 1 – Glitch and Error!

Mark Nunes argues that error in a digital global network world provides a critical lens for understanding this technological landscape, something so technical, error is a deviation without purpose, an opportunity for artistic potential in a system focused on maximizing performance, efficiency, accuracy. To have this consistency, we need control in order to continue to achieve a predetermined outcome. Nunes mentions Deleuze discussion of error as a deviation that “does not coordinate with orthodox image of thought as a recognition of truth.”If so, is error the “counterculture” against the status quo? Nunes argues that although global networks is democratizing, it is only so to those who possess the privilege to do so (dependent on the extension of cables), which would result in more alienation between developed and developing nations. What is fascinating is that error can be taken advantage of, serving some sort of purpose, be it political, social, etc, and how quickly the networks go to “fix” this error, or leave it in. Some examples I can think of is using an extension to allow users to access Netflix library of different countries. Netflix recently corrected this issue. In a sense, copyrighted media is still legally restricted regionally. Another example is of a video game, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, in which there is a glitch which allowed horses to climb steep mountains. Bethesda, the game developer, took notice of this glitch but chose to let it be. Error also allows for a convergence culture, of consumers engaging directly with media, via exploiting any loophole to produce a unpredictable response. This may involve highjacking airwaves, hacking into websites, revealing data. This would result in the further regulation of the internet, as error becomes more of a nuisance, endangering the democracy of media.


Zizek criticizes modern education as being commercialized and as a tool used by capitalist societies to “fix problems”, to further perpetuate their ideology. they call “Private use of reason”. Using education to further one’s own position, a “confirmation bias”. Education is not about “how to fix” but has layers to it, trying to approach a concept from a more theoretical and transnational perspective. Most important thing for education is the ability to “build bridges” between the spectator and the reality of the situation, which will allow an understanding that is beyond surface level.


Menkmen- Technology is rapidly advancing towards perfection, and those who can’t (financially) keep up become obsolete, disconnected from the world. This is an interesting idea applying to both technology and even people. Older generations are very disconnected from the millenials due to their general inability to participate in global networking, stores that opt for phone numbers and fliers over emails and websites will simply not be able to keep up. This is not the main point of Menkmen’s manifesto, but this is what came up in my head. Anyways, With control, there must be chaos. This chaos is noise, defined by Menkmen as a term with a negative connotation, an unwanted disturbance, with a positive connotation to redefine the opposite. This glitch as a break from a flow of expectation provides opportunity for alternative mode of creative representation, a nonconforming countercultural approach to media. This provides an opportunity for metaphorical expression. As one medium advances, it becomes domesticated, straying far from its intended meaning, a criticism I hear often about modern art today. Once a postmodern critique and a deconstruction of the elitism of “high art”, it has become what once demonized.


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.



Video Vortex Reader II: moving images beyond YouTube

I could not access this reading.

The Subversive Use of Theory

I agree with Zizek that education should teach people to ask fundamental questions instead of just producing experts. Education should be accessible to all people, not just those who are privileged. The more people who are educated and taught to question everything the better.

The problem, especially in the United States, is that many people do not care about their education. In fact, in light of the current presidential race, it seems that many people in this country are proud to be ignorant (Drumpf supporters). Exemplified in Zizek’s discussion of the Gulf oil spill, the media distracts people from the fundamental questions brought up by large events.

 Is the purpose of glitch art to raise questions about the technology we use everyday?

Error, Noise, and Potential: The Outside of Purpose

Our lives are shaped by technology that is supposed to work seamlessly.For example the operating systems on our computers and smartphones and the applications that we use are designed to be sleek and seamless. Glitch breaks the box that this technology puts us in by revealing what lies underneath, what we are usually not supposed to access.

Part of the goal of modern technology is to suppress the failure to communicate. The internet allows for the free flowing of information across geographic and social boundaries, but it also gives massive control over information to governments.

How can glitch art be used to raise questions about the level of connection that technology grants us?

How does being globally connected limit us?

What happens to people when their connections are blocked or altered?

Some of the intentions of glitch art:

  • Provide an opportunity for aesthetic and critical interventions
  • Make invisible technologies more visible
  • Encourage misreadings and unintended insertions