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GLI.TC/H - the F.A.Q. Page

You've got questions, we've got answers!

What's glitch art? What's this GLI.TC/H thing all about? How do I pronounce that? Why is your website flashing, I don't get it? How can I get involved?

We've been getting a lot of questions, and though we love answering emails, we thought it might be useful to put together an F.A.Q. (or frequently asked questions) page. Scroll down to read some common questions, or click on the categories above for quick navigation. Can't find your question? Don't worry, you can always send us an email at glitch@gli.tc, heck, if it's a good one maybe we'll add it to the page!


Who is GLI.TC/H?

This is a complicated question, but we'll do our best to answer it. Maybe we'll start with the 'we' answering this question. The voice speaking on behalf of GLI.TC/H is a core group of organizers which at present include Nick Briz, Rosa Menkman and Jon Satrom. In 2010 we co-founded GLI.TC/H, along with Evan Meaney. Collectively we refer to ourselves as the gli.tc/h/bots.

It takes considerable effort to put on an event like GLI.TC/H, and the gli.tc/h/bots haven't done it alone. The first iteration of GLI.TC/H was held in Chicago in 2010 and received support from a handful of institutions and individuals. The department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago provided substantial support that year, thanks in large part to jonCates, the present chair of the department. A handful of local venues hosted free events including Roxaboxen Exhibitions, Transistor, the Nightingale Theater and Club Foot.

For GLI.TC/H 2011 (referred to as 20111) we expanded the event significantly and with that came more work and more help. The events held in Chicago, IL and Amsterdam, NL, were primarily organized and curated (from an open call) by Nick Briz, Rosa Menkman and Jon Satrom with significant organizational help from William Robertson. Kim Asendorf curated the online gallery. Theodore Darst and Evan Meaney co-curated the screening component. Antonio Roberts, with support from Arts Council England, Birmingham City University. fizzPOP, helped at the closing day of GLI.TC/H at VIVID gallery in Birmingham, UK. Additionally, Jessica Westbrook assisted in the production of the GLI.TC/H READER[ROR] and jonCates and Jake Elliott live broadcasted the Chicago events on Numbers.fm. The venues which hosted GLI.TC/H 20111 were, MBLabs, Rodan, Enemy and the Nightingale Theater in Chicago, and STEIM and PlanetArt in Amsterdam. GLI.TC/H 20111 was financially made possible through donations on Kickstarter As well as artists who donated their work to the Kickstarter; Melissa Barron, Nick Briz, jonCates, Jeff Donaldson, Evan Meaney, Rosa Menkman, Don Miller, Pox Party (Jon Satrom and Ben Syverson) and Vaudeo Signal (Ben Baker-Smith and Evan Kühl). A list of the backers can be found here.

This year, GLI.TC/H 2012 (referred to as 2112) is again being organized by Nick Briz, Rosa Menkman and Jon Satrom with the individual threads being organized by Beth Capper, jonCates, Curt Cloninger, Jake Elliott, Benjamin Gaulon, Shawné Holloway, Daniel Temkin, Adam D Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook with additional threads by Ryan T Dunn, Kyoung Kim, Edwina Portocarrero and Philip Stearns and panels by Kevin Carey, Ted Davis, Steven Hammer, Paul Hertz, Shawné Holloway, Chris Lindgren, A Bill Miller, Alex Myers, Patrick Quinn, Antonio Roberts, Daniel Rourke and Alfredo Salazar-Caro. The events will be hosted at MBLabs, High Concept Labs, The Gallery Formerly Known as Happy Dog and Tritriangle. All the work being exhibited and performed this year will be co-produced by the online WorkingGroup participants and anyone who attends the thread sessions during the event. GLI.TC/H 2112 is financially made possible by a grant from the Propeller Fund and the support from this years Kickstarter donars.

Lastly, GLI.TC/H would be an empty room if not for the artists, theorists and enthusiasts which have participated in the past. An incomplete list of artists can be found here.


What is a glitch?

A glitch is an unexpected, non- or mis-understood break in a technological flow that for a moment reveals (gives a window into), its system. Though a glitch doesn't have to be digital, it often refers to a digital error or 'bug'. Generally, it can be anything from a skipping CD in a cafe to compression artifacts during a video chat.

What is glitch art?

Glitch art usually refers to the intentional provocation or appropriation of a glitch by an artist. Glitch artists investigate and collect glitches to make work in many mediums (sound, web, images, video, realtime audio video performances, installations, texts, videogames, artware or software art, etc) for many different reasons (to explore the aesthetic and conceptual potential of glitches, to examine the politics embedded in technological systems, to create digital psychedelic and/or synesthetic experiences, to practice hacktivism, to explore themes of failure, chance, memory, nostalgia, entropy, etc). An incomplete list of glitch artists can be found and edited here.

Writers and academics are also very interested in the theoretical discourse surrounding this practice. An incomplete list of books, essays, articles and dissertations on the subject of glitch art can be found and edited here.

What is GLI.TC/H?

GLI.TC/H (pronounced G - L - I - dot - T - C - slash - H) has had four iterations and is presently being developed and maintained by Nick Briz, Rosa Menkman and Jon Satrom with help of many others. Founded in 2010, GLI.TC/H has been self-described as a conference, festival and gathering hybrid. It has always been a free and open event, taking place in Chicago (2010, 20111, 2112), Amsterdam (20111) and Birmingham (20111), and aims to gather glitch artists, theorists, coders and enthusiasts for a short time, to share their work and ideas. In the past (2010 and 20111) GLI.TC/H held a call for works, from which the organizers have curated gallery exhibitions, video screenings, realtime audio/video performances, lectures, workshops, panels and online exhibitions. GLI.TC/H has featured the works of over 100 artists from over a dozen countries. In 2010 GLI.TC/H launched a research wiki, which functions as a glitch art resource. It includes theoretical texts, tutorials, a list of glitch artists, past and future glitch related events (not exclusive to GLI.TC/H events) and lists online glitch communities. It is open to contributions and has been in development since 2010. In 2011 GLI.TC/H released a collection of essays and text art called the GLI.TC/H READER[ROR] published by Unsorted Books (ISBN: 978-4-9905200-1-4).

This year (2112), rather than having a call for works, GLI.TC/H has held a call for threads. These threads (lead by thread facilitators) are open groups invested in exploring a particular aspect or theme of glitch art from either a theoretical or practice based perspective. At present, these threads exist as open conversations on the GLI.TC/H working groups (forums) and will eventually take place as series of 3 hour sessions (similar to classes or think tanks) at the physical GLI.TC/H events in Chicago from Dec 6 - 9, 2012. The work produced in these threads (referred to as thread output) will be featured in the next GLI.TC/H READER[ROR] and/or online and/or in the evening exhibitions and real time performances being held in Chicago from Dec 6 - 9. Participation in these threads is free and open to anyone (deeply or mildly) interested in glitch art, as are the evening exhibitions of thread output.


Where did GLI.TC/H get started?

In 2010 GLI.TC/H hosted artists, academics and enthusiasts from all over the world in Chicago, IL. Events where held at Roxaboxen Exhibitions, the Gene Siskel Film Center, The SAIC Flaxman Theater, Transistor, the Nightingale Theater and Club Foot.

Where was it last year?

In 2111 GLI.TC/H expanded to include events in three cities. In Chicago, events were held at MBLabs, Rodan, Enemy and the Nightingale Theater. In Amsterdam events where held at STEIM and PlanetArt. In Birmingham, events were held at VIVID.

Where will it be held this year?

This year (2012) GLI.TC/H will be held at MBLabs, The Gallery Formerly Known as Happy Dog, Tritriangle and High Concept Labs. The threads will be held during the day at High Concept Labs (1401 W. Wabansia Chicago IL, 60642) starting at 9am, as well as at The Gallery Formerly Known as Happy Dog. The exhibition of the thread outputs will be held at Tritriangle (1550 N Milwaukee Ave Fl 3
Chicago, IL 60622
) in the evenings as well as at The Gallery Formerly Known as Happy Dog (right next door).

I'm visiting from out of town, where can I stay?

We recommend IHSP Chicago, a cool hostel one block away from Tritriangle and The Gallery Formerly Known as Happy Dog in the heart of Wicker Park located right off the Damen stop on the Blue Line (surrounded by cafes, bars, book stores, record shops, etc).

Is there an online presence?

GLI.TC/H is not only the name of the event, but also its web address (http://gli.tc/h). The website contains event information but functions primarily as a portal to the wiki page, the working groups and our social media presence (facebook, twitter and tumblr blog).

The GLI.TC/H Wiki is a growing collection of resources maintained by the gli.tc/h/bots and co-developed by the glitch communities at large. The research wiki includes theoretical texts, software and tutorials, links to glitch artists websites, past and future events (not exclusive to GLI.TC/H events) and links to other online groups. It is open to contributions and has been in development since 2010.

The Working Groups are (at present) online forums used to develop ideas and projects related to the threads being held during GLI.TC/H 2112. These discussions are open to anyone interested in developing work and ideas along these themes.

GLI.TC/H also recently launched a Github account, where we have open sourced many of the applications/projects we've developed for and in conjuction with the GLI.TC/H.


When did this all get started?

Preperation and development for GLI.TC/H began in April of 2009, but the first event wasn't held until September 29, 2010 in Chicago. In 2011, GLI.TC/H held events in Chicago from November 3rd through the 6th, in Amsterdam from the 11th through the 12th and in Birmingham, UK on the 19th.

When will it happen next?

This year's GLI.TC/H 2112 will take place in Chicago from December 6th through the 9th. A full schedule (with details) can be found here.


How is this possible?

With help from granting organizations like the Propeller Fund, the Arts Council England and through the 20111 and 2112 donations from Kickstarter supporters. With the support of amazing venues and spaces and, most importantly, with the (unpaid) time, energy and effort of committed organizers.

How can I show my work?

This year GLI.TC/H held a call for 'threads' rather than the traditional call for works. These threads are online and (from Dec 6th - 9th) physical spaces for open development of work and ideas. Some of the threads are theory based (ouLANGltchpo, glitchxxx cultures), while others are more practice oriented (DNMw3rkstati0n, reclaiming-media), but all of the threads are interested in exploring glitch art deeply and collaboratively. All the work being exhibited and performed in the evening sessions (on Dec 7th and the 8th) will come from work (partially) done in the threads by thread participants.

How can I get involved?

Different levels of (free and open) engagement are possible depending on your interest.

If you are mildly curious, and just want see what's going on, we invite you to join us for the 'thread output' exhibition, talks and performances being held during the evenings of Friday December 7th and Saturday December 8th.

If you think you might be interested in getting your hands or brain a little 'dirty', we invite you to join us during the opening day for an introduction to the event and a general meet and greet at High Concept Labs on Thursday December 6th starting at 2pm.

If you are interested in sharing your work and ideas, and in collaborating with other glitch artists and enthusiasts to produce work (referred to as thread outputs) for exhibition and performance in this year's GLI.TC/H then come and join us all day long, starting on Thursday December 6th at 2pm. Pick a thread which sounds interesting to you, bring your computer, gadgets and tools and dive into developing new work and ideas with like minded glitchers.

If you can't wait till December and want to get in on the action right now, hop on over to the working groups. These are online forums (one for each of the threads) where open conversations are taking place in preparation for the event on December 6th - 9th. Create a free account, login, and start posting your 2-cents.


if I can't get to Chicago can I still participate?

One of GLI.TC/H's main goals is gather people together IRL (or in-real-life) as we feel it fosters a kind of conversation and collaboration that isn't possible online. That said, this obviously creates serious (geographical, financial, etc) barriers to participating in GLI.TC/H. For this reason, as well as to leverage the potential of online communication, we've also created many spaces for online participation. This includes the collaborative research wiki, the online working groups and the 0P3NR3P0 remote-submission system (coming soon).

if I don't know much about glitch art can I participate?

You don't need to know anything about glitch art to participate, you just have to be interested in it. GLI.TC/H is made up of many old-hats and new-hats. The community is deeply invested in these practices and conversations and is also open and excited to welcome new participants. If you think glitches have a formal, conceptual or otherwise potential worth exploring we would love to hear your perspective.

if I'm interested in hosting my own glitch art event what should I do?

As glitch art has become more popular, exhibitions and screenings on the practice have popped up around the world, it's been very exciting to see this happen. The short answer is just go for it! Check out some of the other events artists and curators have organized, read some of the perspectives, and throw your own show.

If I throw my own glitch art show can I just call it GLI.TC/H?

We should clarify something first, GLI.TC/H is an event about glitch art, and isn't synonomous with the larger practice. One of our goals is to encourage, challenge and grow the glitch art community. If GLI.TC/H was the only glitch art related event then things aren't exactly 'growing', for this reason we try to encourage others to create their own models, platforms and exhibitions.

That said, for those specifically interested in the model we've developed at GLI.TC/H, the collaborative, free and open, thread based model (versus a more traditional exhibition format), we are working on developing 'branchable' and 'forkable' nodes for the GLI.TC/H framework. Branching and forking are terms which come from open source software development, which use open yet structured 'versioning' systems for collaboratively working on software projects. Structurally, GLI.TC/H has been very influenced by the open source community (as well as other thinkers and organizers) and will be rolling this out soon. Get in touch if you think you might be interested in this (glitch@gli.tc)

If I throw my own glitch art exhibition, can you help me?

If you're interested in throwing a more traditional (or nontraditional) glitch art show we would be happy to help! The wiki is a great resource to start with (plenty of theory, links to other glitch events and programs as well as links to many artists sites).

Additionally, We are currently developing the GLI.TC/H 0P3NR3P0. This will be an online database of glitch art; an open online or 'remote' submission system where artists can submit their work with attribution. Work will be collected as URL's, which means that artists can submit any work that can be represented as a web address (i.e. hosted online as either an image, sound file, video, pdf, website, etc.). 0P3NR3P0 will also come with documentation for curators interested in using it to curate a show, whether that be an online exhibition or a physical gallery show. We will be developing software for GLI.TC/H 2112 (which will be open sourced) that pulls from the 0P3NR3P0 for physical installation at the event as well as properly documenting the API so that other curators and developers can do the same.


Why make glitch art?

Artists, theorists and tinkerers are drawn to the practice for a plethora of different reasons. As a process, glitch art breaks the digital down to it's core and exposes the technical (and sometimes other) systems at play; for instance, 'databending' allows code at a 'machine' level to be 'touched'. Simply put, the aesthetic output of such processes can be engaging, alarming, and beautiful; it can also be used as a tool to leverage the age old themes of failure, chance, memory, nostalgia, entropy, etc.. Teaching and sharing various glitching processes can harness the glitch to address issues of digital literacy.

Chance and randomness can provide a playful structure within the glitching process. The pseudo-science and fuzzy-logic embedded in a dirty approach have an attraction to artists who like to reverse-engineer. A glitch can call attention to technological and social issues like planned obsolescence, patents, and consumer 'upgrade' culture.

Some artists are interested in the structural aspects of glitch, as it has potential to expose and critique systems that govern us individually and collectively. Glitches can be used to challenge language, communication and hegemonic systems for interfacing and interacting both physically and online. Some artists encounter spirits and realms within the cracks of digital media that become fodder for meditations and/or digital psychedelia.

Why GLI.TC/H? Why do you do this? What are your goals?

We are glitch artists and enthusiasts ourselves. We think glitches have amazing potential for exploring new aesthetic forms and theoretical ideas and raising awareness of the assumptions and politics embedded in the digital systems that have come to dominate our lives.

We get excited and inspired every time artists provoke, instigate and leverage glitches in interesting ways, when writers and theorists contribute considered perspectives on this practice, and generally when the glitch community digs deeper and pushes the conversation forward.

GLI.TC/H aims to create spaces that facilitate this kind of activity. Where artists and enthusiasts can come together to share work, resources and ideas, challenge each others perspectives and collaborate on new projects and in new directions.

Our efforts are placed in encouraging and developing the glitch art community by creating an open yet structured framework for sharing, chatting and experimenting.

What do you mean by free?

Richard Stallman said, that the 'free' in the 'free software' movement should be thought of as 'freedom' as in 'free-speech' and not as in 'free beer'. We agree (and are influenced) with this position. Glitches often call attention to the proprietary nature of consumer technology and we feel an event organized around such a practice should be participatory, open and accessible. This kind of 'free' is necessary when creating a DIT (do-it-together) community.

Additionally, there are no submission fees and there have been no ticket sales. We believe that (exorbitant) entrance fees and exclusive passes can often create obstacles against the kind of horizontal participation we aim for. That said, we also occasionally provide free drinks and pizza.

What do you mean by open?

Openness is a complex concept, which is often mis-appropriated and mis-understood. Yes, this means everyone can participate, everyone is welcome, anyone can join the working groups and share their ideas, anyone can edit the wiki pages and anyone can download the source code to the various frameworks we've developed for GLI.TC/H and use them as they wish. We don't horde techniques, we share them. We don't force scarcity on digital works, we distribute them online.

That said, this should not be confused for structurelessness. When we use the term openness, we are invoking a few specific ideas. Namely, the open-source movement, whose model for an open, participatory and collaborative yet structured framework has been a big influence on our own organizational model.

We couldn't agree more with Jo Freeman when she said, "If the movement is to grow beyond these elementary stages of development, it will have to disabuse itself of some of its prejudices about organization and structure. There is nothing inherently bad about either of these. They can be and often are misused, but to reject them out of hand because they are misused is to deny ourselves the necessary tools to further development. We need to understand why 'structurelessness' does not work."

What do you mean by community?

GLI.TC/H should not be confused with glitch art, or even the glitch art communities at large, which are much bigger than this project. We aim to be a part of the communities and act in-between and beyond them, to encourage collaboration, sharing and further development of glitch art as a practice amongst these communites.

The glitch art communities and glitch art should also not be confused. In the last couple of years we've seen glitch art go from an underground net art scene to pop aesthetic phenomenon (and we think that's exciting). Glitch art can be understood in a variety of ways, as an aesthetic, as a genre, as a 'movement' and as a practice. When we refer to a glitch art community, we are talking about a network of (predominantly online) groups which have gathered together around a common interest (glitch art) to collaborate, share work and ideas, and take part in conversations about glitch art and it's potential.