Archive for May 26th, 2012

May 26, 2012

Glitch Music

prefuse 73

Glitch is a term used to describe a style of electronic music that emerged in the mid to late 1990s that adheres to an ‘aesthetic of failure,’ where the deliberate use of glitch based audio media, and other sonic artifacts, is a central concern.

Sources of glitch sound material are usually malfunctioning or abused audio recording devices or digital technology, such as CD skipping, electric hum, digital or analog distortion, bit rate reduction, hardware noise, computer bugs, crashes, vinyl record hiss or scratches, and system errors. In a ‘Computer Music Journal’ article published in 2000, composer and writer Kim Cascone classifies glitch as a sub-genre of electronica, and used the term ‘post-digital’ to describe the glitch aesthetic.

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May 26, 2012

Glitch Art

glitch soup

Glitch art is the aestheticization of digital or analog errors, such as artifacts and other ‘bugs,’ by either corrupting digital code/data or by physically manipulating electronic devices, for example by circuit bending (the intentional short-circuiting of low power electronic devices to create new musical devices).┬áIn a technical sense a glitch is the unexpected result of a malfunction. The term is thought to derive from the German ‘glitschig,’ meaning ‘slippery.’ It was first recorded in English in 1962 during the American space program by John Glenn when describing problems they were having, Glenn explained, ‘Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical current.’

Glitch is used to describe these kinds of bugs as they occur in software, video games, images, videos, audio, and other forms of data. The term glitch came to be associated with music in the mid 90s to describe a genre of experimental/noise/electronica (see glitch music). Shortly after, as VJs and other visual artist like Tony (Ant) Scott began to embrace the glitch as an aesthetic of the digital age, glitch art came to refer to a whole assembly of visual arts.