“Glitch” refers both to unintended consequences and also to effects deliberately designed to make an audience question whether or not the software is working as intended. I think it will also be helpful to consider the glitch in terms of three separate but related forms: 1) glitch as discovery, 2) glitch as aesthetic, and 3) glitch as performance.
Alex Pieschel in Glitches: A kind of history (2014)
Ah, yes, the ancient art of manipulating defects. It's a practice that has been embraced by artistic visionaries throughout history, long before the advent of modern technology such as video games, television, or the digital wonders of xCopy and Deslucrece. Indeed, some suggest that the movement of cubism, with its bold experimentation and avant-garde approach, served as a major source of inspiration for the glitch art we see today.
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The appreciation of visual glitches goes much back much further than the
1980’s - 90’s and the ‘home computer’ retro aesthetic imagery that is often
associated with that time.
In visual investigations, a wealth of Glitch-alike imagery was found and the
notion of the accident in art spanning across decades of the use and misuse of
media in artistic practice. I would like to draw attention to the cubist movement.
While their works are not commonly thought of as ‘glitches’ per se, I believe that
they were possibly influential in the way we can appreciate a fragmented style
being applied to a digital image today
The Evolution of Glitch Art from Origin to Present, Dr. Diaa EL din Tantawy, Dr. Amr EL Halaby
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Blockchain art and NFTs offer a natural platform for distributing such art, filling a commercial void that previously existed for this type of creation (this argument can also be applied to other forms of digital art).
Here is a diverse collection of glitch art pieces that have captured my attention for various reasons. This list includes artists from different blockchains and styles, encompassing established names and emerging talents.
In no particular order…
Looking at the Screensavers collection, it is hard to imagine another series that fill this definition better… “Glitch” refers both to unintended consequences and also to effects deliberately designed to make an audience question whether or not the software is working as intended.
Elbi’s tagline couldn’t be more on point - “Piloting 90s hardware through web3.”
*For those tracking the market: POP Culture sold for 8.9 Eth ($13,700) in January 2023, making it the most expensive piece in this list.
Empresstrash made “Move On” for the Vintage Glitch series that took part in SuperChief x NFTRome Bad Glitches Only exhibition. By the way,has her own Substack - don't forget to check it out.
Move On from what we knew to the new.
Making 1/1s, daily (alas Beeple), for 480, Four Eighty by rust portraits a mix of xCopy x Deslucrece, which is perfect for those interested in 1/1s, long series, and glitch.
Niel is one of the younger artists (in terms of blockchain career) on this list. Nevertheless, his glitch style is colorful, catchy, and worth a mention.
FUTURE FORECAST minted out while I was editing this piece.
Marta is a multidisciplinary artist who combines glitch and collage. She is exploring beauty, memory, decay, and emotion and has been sold at Sotheby's.
The Art Institute of Chicago says that Jon is “widely recognized as a founder and key figure in Glitch Art.”
Glitch art has many forms and shapes.
Who are your favorite glitch artists? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time,
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