Los Angeles-based painter Justin Bower makes portraiture a glitched metaphor, literally and figuratively, to the present and future of a combined human and computer existence. Bower “…paints his subjects as de-stabilized, fractured post-humans in a nexus of interlocking spatial systems. His paintings problematize how we define ourselves in this digital and virtual age while suggesting the impossibility of grasping such a slippery notion.”
Absorbing different movements and styles (visually one could see a connection to the paintings of Francis Bacon, Jenny Saville, Op Art, as well as early 90′s Cyberpunk and post-Millenium Glitch aesthetics), Bower creates large-scale works that seem almost pained, frustrated or weariness, but with a computer-like void of any tangible, specific emotion. This is balanced delicately by the controlled, digital-referencing malfunctioned backgrounds, combined with loose, painterly brush work, affirming the power and communicability of the paint medium.
David Szauder, a German digital artist, takes interest in the glitch phenomenon. Failed Memory, the name of the compilation of images, showcases photographs that are purposely altered. Precisely, the photograph’s flow is interrupted by the sudden ambiguity of lines and distortions occurring in certain parts of the subject’s body.
His ‘glitch’ technique literally translates to the themes he is working with here: memory and the possible failure to reconstruct them. Much like the files on our computer’s memory, human recollection of events might get distorted throughout time.
“Our brains store away images to retrieve them later, like files stored away on a hard drive. But when we go back and try to re-access those memories, we may find them to be corrupted in some way.”
His work is more than just visual; Szauder provides text to go along with the images. On his Behance profile, the artist expresses that the images recollect failed memories related to family moments. (via IGNANT)
The art of the glitch has made its way off the screen out of the realm of the accidental. Perhaps it’s the aesthetic source of a new abstraction. The form has also made its way street art and graffiti. Polish artist Krzysztof Syruć incorporates explicit glitch stylings and subtler inspiration in much of his work. This first piece seems to use its background as a source image. The image is distorted, ‘corrupted’, and reduced to basic values. Other pieces seem to reference circuitry, code, and even biological systems.
New Media artist Phillip Stearns contrasts two mediums in a way that also conjures unexpected similarities. Stearns has considerable experience with glitches – he’s the author of a Tumblr blog that presented a different glitch screen shot each day. He went on to combine the cold digital spattering of glitches with warm textiles such as blankets and tapestries. The pixels translate strangely well from screen to weave, the glitches not being lost in translation from one medium to the other. Stearns says about his project:
“The Glitch Textiles project was started in 2011 with the goal of exploring the intersections of textiles and digital art. The idea was simple: Transcode glitches in the cold, hard logic of digital circuits into soft, warm textiles. Following a successful funding campaign on Kickstarter in 2012, Glitch Textiles has grown to include a range of woven and knit wall hangings and blankets whose patterns are generated using images taken with short circuited cameras and other unorthodox digital techniques, including data visualization aided by the use of tools developed for digital forensics.”
The intentional glitchiness of the photography of Federico Ferrari is at once familiar and surprising. This series appears to be still life photography interrupted by a scanner malfunction. A section of each image is dragged across the plane reducing it to simple lines of color. Small pieces of photographs are severely exaggerated in size. It abstracts otherwise benign photographs and plays with the viewer’s perception of a simple scene scene.
Something is not quite right with Nandan Ghiya‘s portraits. Indeed, several are titled Download Error. Ghiya’s antique portraits of upper class men and women from the past seem to be physical manifestations of garbled JPEG files. Each portrait is collaged and each frame carefully modified in a ways that resemble corrupted digital photographs. The now forgotten subjects of these portraits may have sought posterity through these images and the artist seems to communicate this in a familiar visual language of the digital. He uses life documented through JPEG’s, glitches, and error messages to reflect the modern plastic identity.