Inherent in glitch art is a denial for codification. Attempts to [con/de]fine this phenomenon, which by it’s very nature will always be in flux, can be easily dismissed as futile. At the same time glitch art is something specific: Bob Ross’ mountain ranges is not glitch art – Cory Arcangel’s Data Diaries is. Points in Iman Moradi’s thesis were problematic, but it laid [contributed to] the foundation for a conversation which sought to get a handle on things – it was followed by further problematic txts by other artists and thinkers which led to an even better/confused understanding of glitch art… or maybe not glitch art directly but are relationship to it. To contextualize or not to contextualize – there are pros and cons to both. You put it real nicely at the end of your txt, the Use of Artifacts as Critical Media Aeshtetics:
Studying glitch (art) is a frustrating endeavor because when I describe and define it, the glitch might lose all its charm. For academic comprehension it is necessary, but glitch studies requires attention to that which is outside statistics and solid models, maybe even beyond the reasoning that permeates knowledge production at large.
I was thinking of Evan’s txt on Glitches and the Archive and this conflict became even more clear/complex. We are creatures prone to order, the machines we build to more efficiently accomplish our tasks mirror that order, the glitch disrupts that order and our curious response is, of course, to give order to that disruption. At the same time, and for that same reason, we wonder in its chaos and would like to retain it, except we’d like to retain it in a box – it’s the glitch-ar[n]t-dilemma.
While programming for GLI.TC/H, I personally, felt directly confronted by this dilemma. While I never mind entertaining the issue in a theoretical space, when faced with the physical limitations of an event (space/time/etc) one is forced to practically address the issue. And though we were very conscious of it and at times made direct efforts to subvert it (the website, the wiki, the blog, the t.rashb.in, the bumpers, etc.) when put in a curatorial position one has to deal with this glitch-ar[n]t-dilemma and the inevitable divides that form when you put one thing next to the other.
So, because I’m a hierarchical being (thanks Evan), I too will make a list. Except this time I’ll remove the labels/categories and just leave the definitions/descriptions. It’s an experiment – realize that the list is problematic and incomplete – an excerpt of an infinitely longer list, created not so much to contextualize but rather understand our inclinations to do so:
:::specific work/modes/points/processes of association:::
[-] the result of interfering with a digital/analog signal/transmission
[-] a domesticated version of what was once an unstable/fractured moment
[-] generative material made with a self/commercially manufactured device with/without an input signal
[-] intentionally exploiting a digital/analog flaw yielding expected results by generally front-end methods
[-] using applications/tools/filters with varying degrees of control resulting in the corrupted/unstable material
[-] using applications/tools/filters with varying degrees of control resulting in stable material
[-] creating a digital/analog situation that is doomed to failure (in the traditional sense) in anticipation of the unpredictable yet welcomed results.
[-] creating a digital/analog situation designed for failure/corruption intended by the creator but to the surprise (and often dismay) of the receiver
[-] designing by calculable/conventional means something which appears to be random/fractured
[-] random corruption of digital/analog material with anticipation but without expectation
[-] a systematized process of corruption which allows for an equal balance of intention and chance
Consider, in addition, that these might all result in aesthetically indistinguishable material. What of these divides now?