“56. What makes good glitch art good is that, amidst a seemingly endless flood of images, it maintains a sense of the wilderness within the computer ” — Hugh S. Manon and Daniel Temkin, “Notes on Glitch”
Year of the Glitch is a 366 day project aimed at exploring various manifestations of glitches (intentional and unintentional) produced by electronic systems.
Each day will bring a new image, video or sound file from a range of sources: prepared digital cameras, video capture devices, electronic displays, scanners, manipulated or corrupted files, skipping CDs, disrupted digital transmissions, etc.
These images are not of broken things, but the unlocking of other worlds latent in the technologies with which we surround ourselves.
002 of 366
Created from a source image generated using a prepared Olympus C-840L, converted into TIFF format, processed in Hex Fiend, cropped in GIMP.
001 of 366
Produced using an Olympus C-840L 1.3 MP Digital Camera, a gift from notendo.
2012 Phillip Stearns
With the opening of the Algorithmic Unconscious group show at Devotion Gallery earlier this month, my interest in iterative video processing has been renewed as a method of exploring compression algorithms. You might be familiar with the technique, it was the same used for the epic Alvin Lucier inspired Video Room where YouTube user canzona uploads, downloads and re-uploads a video to youtube 1000 times. Where his work explores the impact of the compression schemes native to YouTube, the new video work above explores the motion JPEG-2000 compression algorithm.
The source video is a custom made 16 second loop cycling through the 8 fully saturated primary and secondary additive colors—black, red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, white. In quicktime, the JPEG-2000 compression algorithm is chosen to export a .mov file of the lowest quality (smallest size). At this setting, the compression algorithm is repeatedly making decisions concerning what information is relevant or important while discarding the rest—up to 99% of the original data. The result is a considerably low quality reproduction of the original with visible data-compression artifacts. By applying a handful of filters to the compressed file and then re-compressing, data-compression artifacts are amplified. By repeating this iterative or recursive process hundreds of times, an effect similar to feedback is achieved where the visual output becomes degraded from the original and the artifacts take on a generative nature.
For this study, 193 iterations were time compressed to fit within a roughly 10 minute span. The video was then paired with audio from “Metamorphopsia”, a track from the Macular Degeneration project.
Leading up to this completed study, several attempts were made to work with h.264 on fades between black and white frames. Similar work was down with audio compression algorithms and white noise. Further works in this series will investigate the effects of different compression algorithms on simple patterns of varying motion, shapes, and transition effects.
As a note, this work is less about abstraction and more about taking the concepts of Concrete Art to a place where expression re-emerges through the algorithm, which I am taking to be an abstraction of human perceptual features mediated by a deterministic system of discrete logic.
Date: Saturday, October 8th 2011
Time: 8pm Doors
Location: 319 Scholes @ 319 Scholes St. Brooklyn, NY 11206
Tickets: $10 at the door
Description: Leisure, a concert series produced by 319 Scholes, welcomes special international guests Tom Verbruggen (Toktek) and Simon Berz in a program curated by Phillip Stearns featuring performances by locals TwistyCat, Jeff Donaldson Vs. Phil White, Phillip Stearns. The evening promises to be a “spastic, sweaty and intense” display of electronic music from a wide array of sensibilities spanning drone, noise, glitch, and ambient genres.