Emerging from its historic existence at the fringes of art and technology, in the shifting world of new media and electronic art, glitch has evolved into a trend within popular culture. Glitch art appropriates the aesthetics of technical failure, be that analogue or digital. It can be seen in music videos such as Kanye West’s Welcome to Heartbreak (2009) and in Hollywood blockbusters such as Ghost in the Shell (2017). But what does its permeation across different mediums and formats mean for the art form? Has its appropriation killed glitch art? Or does its ubiquity create a new visual language that everyone can use to create artworks that disrupt the digital image and create a message within the medium itself?
The ubiquity of the glitch is accompanied by a democratisation of the tools of production. No longer dependent upon knowledge of coding, the emergence of app art is creating new possibilities for making and disseminating art through the internet. App art opens up opportunities for participation by providing simple digital tools, so that anyone can become a creator, replicating the wider societal shift from a consumer to a ‘prosumer’ society.
Featuring work by Dil Patel, Aphra Kennedy Fletcher, Poppy Coomber, Mia Lily Johnson, Chris Speed, Brenda Vega and Mark Ferrar, Smack My Glitch Up showcases recent glitch art in its many forms: video, sound, photography, screen prints and digital drawings. Alongside these works, clients to DKUK are invited to create a glitched portrait of themselves whilst they have their hair cut. Using the app Glitché, the finished glitched images are displayed via a scrolling feed on a screen amongst the other works, further flattening any hierarchy between artist and audience.
Maisie Florence Post is an independent curator specialising in internet art, who graduated from the Criticism, Communication and Curation course at Central Saint Martins in 2015. She is principally interested in how the internet and new media as a whole can democratise the art world. Her first exhibition ‘What Do You Meme?’ gained momentum online and eventually went viral, being the first meme exhibition of its kind. This year Maisie curated a gif exhibition, ‘IN A GIFFY’, at Doomed Gallery as part of new digital project series called ‘Behind the Bars’.