Glitch art: in academic terms, it’s the ‘aesthetisization of error’ and if you’ve spent any time on Tumblr, Flickr or Pinterest, you’ll already know what it looks like – shattered pixels, out-of-phase colours, and visual white noise are the order of the day – a beautiful technicolour mess. At its best, glitch is hallucinatory, alarming, and undeniably beautiful.
Although the glitch art we know has its roots firmly in the 8-bit early days of the internet, people have been glitching for about as long as we’ve had technology to make art (and mistakes) with.
With this long twisted history, and the sheer number of ways there are to mess with a perfectly good file, it’s no surprise that some major differences of opinion have developed over the years, over what really constitutes ‘glitch art’.
It’s a debate that can turn pretty petty, pretty quickly, and some of the bigger online groups have strict user guidelines to stop this kind of debate descending into argument. No doubt the whole thing is headache for artists just trying to make cool stuff. But for the outsider, this plurality of views has led to a fascinating variety of approaches to explore.
I took a dive into the beautifully fragmented world of online glitch art to bring you some of the most interesting blogs I could find. This is just a selection of what’s out there, and if you’re at all interested, I highly recommend you root around the glitch art blogosphere for as long as your fragile little minds can take it.
(And, if you’ve been inspired to try glitch art for yourself, we’ve put together a five-minute glitch art generator, to get you started.)
(Glitch) Art For (Glitch) Art’s Sake
The Glitch Artists Collective is the biggest glitch art group on Facebook. The same team run several pages (including a glitch audio page, a page for swapping glitch advice and techniques and a requests page amongst others) but the real action is on their public page. With over 45,000 members, there are dozens of amazing submissions posted daily. Definitely worth checking out.
Another page run by the Glitch Artists Collective – the work on New Aesthetic isn’t technically glitch art (I can already feel the purists breathing down my neck) but is for work made “with or in regard to digital technology or the internet”. Some amazing pieces up on there.
Glitches Gone Wild
It wouldn’t be a balanced piece on glitch art without some ‘true’ glitch blogs.
Artist Peder Norrby’s fascinating map-glitch Flickr page is a collection of the bizarre, deformed graphics from the bug-prone iOS6 version of Apple Maps.
GIFS, GIFs and more GIFS
GIFs are the dominant medium for online glitch art. Here are a few of the most interesting GIF blogs we found.
Hyperspeed Hallucination’s GIFs are frequently mind-bending and occasionally NSFW... Careful who’s watching over your shoulder when you’re looking through them.