Every day an incomprehensible number of new digital media files are uploaded to hosting sites across the internet. Far too many for any one person to consume. Infinite Glitch is a stream-of-conciousness representation of this overwhelming flood of media, its fractured and degraded sounds and images reflecting how little we as an audience are able to retain from this daily barrage.
Infinite Glitch is an automated system that generates an ever-changing audio/video stream from the constantly increasing mass of media files freely available on the web. Source audio and video files are ripped from a variety of popular media hosting sites, torn apart, and recombined using collage and glitch techniques to create an organic, chaotic flood of sensory input.
-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
In this clip, Nicholas O'Brien interviews via tinychat the organizers behind the gli.ct/h festival (going on right now in Chicago) for Bad At Sports. The festival organizers - Nick Briz (not in the video), Evan Meaney, Rosa Menkman, and Jon Satrom - are all artists themselves, and they aimed to create a collaborative, creative space in their programming for this event, a motivation that comes across in the conversation, as well as larger issues, such as the genre's historicization, facing glitch culture.
Note: Tom McCormack is at the festival right now, and he'll be writing it up for Rhizome's blog soon!
The normative logic of digital technologies and consumer electronics is that they "just work." The fields of human computer interaction and usability studies are intended to make technology functional for even the most lay of users. This can be seen clearly in the way in which new technologies are advertised and in the shift away from machines intended to be "tinkered" with toward black box technologies that maximize interface. The most recent campaign for Apple's new iPad states that "it's magical," and that "you already know how to use it," and Microsoft goes so far as to imply that Windows 7 was designed by everyday users to be "easier." Nonetheless, for most users dysfunction and breakdown are a large part of their everyday experience of technology.
In Broken Sets (eBay), Penelope Umbrico has collected a virtual archive of technological failure in images of broken LCD TV sets being sold on eBay for spare parts. Each image bears a unique pattern formed by cracks and other anomalies that fracture the images they display into a pixelization that resembles landscapes or test patterns. Many of the pieces, displayed as photo prints, vaguely resemble "digital interference" works by Sean Dack or Borna Sammak's HD video collage, but taken as a whole they suggest a larger aesthetics of breakdown that is as much a critique of our idealized vision of these technologies as functionally useful objects as it is beautiful.
The supreme discipline of art - oil painting - is back. It has been 13 days since a BP oil and gas exploration well blew out, setting fire to the drilling rig, which sank, killing 11 people. Ever since, crude oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, raising the prospects of a historic environmental disaster. Winds from the southeast have nudged the slick northward, where it floated Saturday near the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and has begun to paint the coastlines.
Finally oil painting has evolved into generative bio-art, a dynamic process the world audience can watch live via mass media. Never before has this art form been as relevant and visible as today - only 9-11 was nearly as perfect, but in the genre of performance art. An oil painting on a 80.000 square miles ocean canvas with 32 million liters of oil - a unique piece of art.
We exclusively use aerial images from the oil spill. The files are ready-mades but we waived our right to use them "as is" and decided to use a special digital technique to produce a statement about the disconnection of form and color and about contemporary and futuristic imaging procedures. We use a compressor (sorenso codec) and consumer video editing-software and manually loop 2 frames, the image becomes liquid, transforms and deforms. These visualisations represent the "Verkuenstlichung" of nature and the "Vernatuerlichung" of art. Unedited oil-paintings of the event can be found via search-engines, on boston.com or on the NASA Earth Observatory website.
I don’t remember exactly how I first came across Random Butler’s YouTube channel, besides seeing a video from it in the “Related Videos” sidebar when I was watching something else, and while I can’t say I know much about YouTube’s algorithm for selecting “Related Videos” I suspect the sheer number of videos on the channel helped it get in my window. Since creating his YouTube account on April 24, 2006, Butler has uploaded 1,219 videos—an average of about one a day. And while there are many YouTube users who maintain frequently updated vlogs, Butler’s is the only one I’ve encountered that shifts the video diary’s role from an emotional outlet to a creative one. Instead of focusing on the user’s persona, it presents a direct record of what he sees and what goes on in his inner world. Butler has pointed his web cam at the television as he wins Zelda, and uploaded several “multimedia messages” that show views of a computer screen or out a car window, taken on a Nokia 6102. In recent months, he has been uploading fewer web cam and cell phone videos and spending more time on experiments that distort clips from games and cartoons. A favorite source has been King of the Hill. Like any diary, Butler’s YouTube channel is composed of incremental fragments and best considered as a whole, but nonetheless, I’ll offer a few highlights here.
Silver (2006) - Takeshi Murata
(Murata used this same pixel bleeding effect in his 2005 piece Monster Movie)
umbrella zombie datamosh mistake (2007) - Paper Rad & Paul B. Davis
These Murata and Paper Rad/Davis videos are two early examples of manipulating digital compression to produce pixel bleeding for artistic effect. In the last week, two mainstream music videos have been released by Chairlift and Kanye West that use this effect, and it has come to be known as "datamoshing." Heralded as a brand new innovation by some, the near simultaneous release of these two music videos have fans of each musical act crying foul. But, as the two videos above indicate, these techniques have been in circulation for a number of years now. It seems an argument concerning the origin of "datamoshing" is unnecessary, given that almost everything is built upon something else.