I got 99 problems but a glitch 'aint one
18 February 2012
A connoisseur's exploration into the boundless variables of dodgy hardware.
Chris King has long been the Peckham go-to-man for live crunch, constructing complicated circuits of video to screen art works and collecting the most beautiful video hardware to VJ, install and make art with. There's a satisfying taste with the snaps of these graphic imperfections. Moving images conjure nightmarish android sequences. The artist becomes empowered through the corruption of the computers intention, taking back control of the binary wavelengths. Chris' knack is looking into the heart of computer systems, showing them for what they really are, and celebrating their useless beauty.
We asked Chris a couple of questions in order to find out more.
I suppose you could say that initially glitches brake open of the structure of a medium, they both reveal the way that medium works and leap frog it's innate limitations or expected processes. Imperfection is also in a way more desirable to the viewer and artist as the unexpected or chaotic can be more absorbing than the more expected or rational pursuit of perfect balanced form.
Well first off when playing with glitch you walk a fine line. Creating something that has a glitch aesthetic purposefully can be unfulfilling and superficial. It wont perform any of the desirable interesting tasks a real glitch does. I think the best way to describe what you can do is 'Farming' glitches. Setting up systems you know may result in interesting brake downs and harvesting the results, tweaking the process and repeating it can yield interesting imagery. Creatives like Takeshi Murata who played with compression artefacts when that was all the rage, seemed to produce work that slightly changed up the creation process to get related but more advanced results each time. Of course the most magical honest glitches are the completely unexpected ones you find in systems you have not set up, the vimeo group glitchsafari documents glitches found in every day places, I don't really have the ability with words to explain why I find them more satisfying.
With my own work I'm not sure it would ever be classed as glitch as I mostly use video feedback however I always have glitchy elements that aren't the main focus of the work as when you work with feedback signals can easily become distorted and unusual things can happen. I suppose you could describe feedback as the system by which I am farming the effect which is a subversion of the video equipment and a kind of glitch in itself. I am currently reading Godel Escher Bach and I am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter in order to get a better grasp on the nature of systems and feedback.
"I got 99 problems but a glitch ain't one" is the legendary facebook album.