BLOG 07/2001

I was using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 when it stopped redrawing the screen.
So I waggled a few windows about until I got a nice pattern, which
I simply cropped to highlight the best bit:

Kinda reminds me of the cover art of Autechre's Confield CD,
but obviously not as good!

Just installed Windows2000 at work. It's much slower and buggier
than Windows98, which in turn is slower than Windows95.
And whilst using the scrollwheel on an page, the screen
barfed on me:

"That's a bit of glitch art" I thought to myself, and now
I've shared it with you too. Just looks like a bar code trying
to communicate with aliens..

My best mate from The Big Scary City (London) was going to visit
today, but he's probably coked up to the eyeballs and hasn't bothered.
So, with the spare time on my hands, I've had a little play with
a Gameboy Advance emulator called Mappy, loaded up some random
demos, and had fun looking at the VRAM in different modes.
And this is the sort of thing you get...

This is my favourite. The blue and grey stripes look like
an alien sky above a radioactive landscape.

This one is very cool too. The background is the demo splash-screen,
but once the game starts, it's no longer needed, so they've
used a part right slap-bang in the middle for the actual
gameplay graphics. A classic glitch art example for you there!

Reminds me of watching a film in letterbox format on TV.
I think it's quite a serene image, with a strong sense
of movement from the lines at the bottom.

Look - I've found some new glitch art already and the site is only 1 day old.


These are some shots taken with the digital equivalent of a pin-hole camera
of a piece of audio equipment at work that's crashed big time!
I think my favourite is the dark one on the right.

There's a pub here in jolly old Cambridge (England) by the river where
the till display is under the influence of some magnetic field and you
can see this shit scary dark rotating shadow across the left hand side of it.
I'll take a photo ASAP to show you!

An abundant source of good images is arcade game emulators.
I love the use of random uninitialised memory to give the impression
of explosions.


The two images above are from GORF and show how the random shield has seemingly
"infected" the lower row of Galaxian invaders. I don't know if this was a bug
or intentional.

This one is part of the system initialisation screen in Joust.
I caught the image before the screen was completely full of crud,
which I reckon is more aesthetically pleasing.

I wish to emphasize that glitch art is in many ways opposite
to its better-known cousin, namely "fractal art".
Here's a table of differences and similarities, to give the
pretence of scientific rigour.

GLITCH ART                                   FRACTAL ART
------ ---                                   ------- ---

artificial                                   mathematical

fun and vacuous                              attracts geeks

purely digital                               digital and continuous

found                                        usually computed

deterministic and quasi-random               chaotic

fast - instant gratification                 slow to compute

tiny following (me and a friend)             massively popular 1985-1995