In images by Benjamin Gaulon, Evan Meaney, NOSYNC, Galen Richmond, and Phillip Stearns, circuit bending – most associated with sound – becomes visual medium.

“Glitch,” to me, is an incomplete word for this work, and one that can in some cases give the uninitiated the wrong idea. These are electronic visual textures, as raw and elemental as the pure oscillators on a subtractive synthesizer for music, but optical rather than auditory. And they’re beautiful: not some sort of “error,” but evolved to the point of being self-contained textures, an electronic equivalent (see my post earlier this week) of textile patterns.

Dutch artist Rosa Menkman calls her work “glitch” and has a manifesto built around that, a process by which the error and its artifact is part of the technique. Her work is screened at Bent this year, though she’s not in town. She describes those ideas at length and in evocative, articulate ways. But while essential, “glitch” there to me still describes the process: these textures can build a work that takes on its own life and may need other description.

I’ll leave with Rosa’s thought, though:

I am of the opinion that flow cannot be understood without interruption, or functioning without ‘glitching’.

That’s all I’ll say for now; this is obviously a much larger topic. The images – with more to come, I’m sure, from Bent this weekend – can say plenty more.

See also:
Reed Ghazala and Circuit Sound Artists in Videos, as NYC’s Bent Festival Gets Underway