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Metaphysical HD

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 | Posted by Steven Ball

In December last year P3 Ambika mounted an exhibition of Terry Flaxton’s work as AHRC Creative Research Fellow at Bristol University, which was concerned with high resolution imaging. The works were mostly large scale moving image projections consisting of group portraits and landscapes, precisely crafted cinematographic vignettes, posed and composed with clear attention to detail, captured with high-end, high definition digital cinema technology.

To complement the exhibition Flaxton invited a number of people over a number of lunchtimes to talk around the question of the ‘aura’ of the work of art, famously described by Walter Benjamin as being absented from the work produced in the The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), and what the further implications for this might be in the age of digital high resolution video reproduction. My response was to return to glitch as an index of digital materiality and speculate what this might mean now that Standard (SD) has given way to High Definition (HD). My position, delivered as a kind of polemical rant, was an appeal to an imperative to glitch-up the medium, a delinquent reaction to the new hegemony of high definition, in short a call to “fuck shit up”.

We are, it seems, past the cusp of a transition and as the critical mass of video media shifts from SD, HD has become dominant, on consumer and professional levels, in the cinema, on television, in gallery-based artists’ work. Is it possible anymore to purchase a new TV that isn’t HD-ready, is it possible now to buy a camcorder that isn’t HD? It would seem, anecdotally at least, increasingly not.

While HD moving image media has indeed become commonplace in gallery-based artists’ work, Flaxton’s attempt to highlight the effects of its specificity is rare in this context. Ed Atkins, in a recent essay, discusses HD in such a way that seems on the face of it to accept the promise of its verisimilitude, while critiquing its effect, writing that “High Definition (HD) has surpassed what we tamely imagined to be the zenith of representational affectivity within the moving image, presenting us with lucid, liquid images that are at once both preposterously life-like and utterly dead.” The problem with HD for Atkins is that it is “…a ‘hollow’ representation, eternally distanced from life, from Being.” This is a paradox that rests, according to Atkins, on the ontological contradiction that HD is “essentially immaterial” and that this is “…concomitant to its promise of hyperreality – of previously unimaginable levels of sharpness, lucidity, believability, etc., transcending the material world to present some sort of divine insight. Though of course, HD’s occasion is entirely based upon the fantastic representation of the material and only the material.”

For Atkins the ostensible success of the medium, its realism, its astonishing representational ability, paradoxically renders what it represents as dead, dead in the sense that the very theatricality of what is represented – in his essay the image of Johnny Depp in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies (2009) – is revealed for what it is, and for not being an image of a ‘real’ life, it is an image of death, and as such a second twist of the paradox comes into play, that as an image of death it reveals the mortality of the ‘real’ Johnny Depp.

In identifying these representational phenomena as qualities of HD Atkins characterises it as existing within the Zeitgeist as it “both apprehends the progress [of the drive towards ever improved realism] and helps it on its way… It’s ambiguous yet minted enough to be understood as both transitory (how high is ‘High’?) and specific (‘Definition’).” However this perfect and perfectly dead image is in reality, the result not of a digitally immaterial medium, but the very material application of software, codecs and faster processing, as the Zeitgeist reflects the demands of the industrial media complex for ever higher resolutions, working hard to ensure an illusion of immateriality through ever improved realism. This is the reproduction of a photo-realistic vision of the world that has for centuries been locked in by grids, planes and lenses, enshrined in the conventions of Euclidian perspective, as the default condition for representational realism.

Bitmapping, colour, codec, layers, grading, sprites perspective, projection and vectors, in Making Space (Senses of Cinema, Issue 57) Sean Cubitt demonstrates how developments in compression software work to maintain illusions of spatial movement in high resolution cinema; while he admits that “…we are still trying to understand what it is that we are looking at now…” it is clear that how whatever it is becomes visible is the result of some highly sophisticated processes and processing. He describes how this is forged through complex matrices of raster grids, bitmap displays, and hardwired pixel addresses, that as digital images are compressed, crushed, some more than others depending on the delivery platform (from YouTube to BluRay and beyond), the illusion of movement relies on a dizzying array of operations of vector prediction, keyframing and tweening in Groups of Blocks, how layers of images have become key components of digital imaging in creating representational space through the parallax effect whereby relative speed stands in for relative distance and the fastest layer appears to be closest to the viewer.

So, digital moving images are not simply the product of invisible and vaguely immaterial technology; due to physical limits on storage space and bandwidth in its display, the digital moving image is very much dependent on software and hardware to construct the illusion of high resolution; far from leaving media specificity behind, once the dust of apparent verisimilitude has settled or been stirred up, once the seductive veneer of the image has become commonplace or surpassed by ever higher definition, there may be much for a digital materialist to find in post-media medium specificity.

But, digital moving image media’s apparent detachment from a physical base or specific material apparatus has been accelerated with HD. Cameras record directly to drive or card, exhibition is less likely to be through playback from dedicated physical media like tape and optical disc, but more likely to be from a hard drive of some description. Whether this is dedicated moving image equipment or the ubiquitous disk found on a local computer or network, physically and technologically it will be indistinguishable and could equally be used to store and play back sound, display text, image, the internet, a spreadsheet, an eBook, or any given combination of those things and countless others. But media forms have historically been tethered to physical material, and in reality this is no less the case with the migration of media onto digital technology, as N Katherine Hayles points out in Writing Machines “materiality is as vibrant as ever, for the computational engines and artificial intelligence that produce simulations require sophisticated bases in the real world”. However we have seen that in the digital domain materiality no longer demands physical specificity, so it is more productive to conceive of media specificity as having taken something of a metaphysical turn. While they may rely on the same physical support of hard drive machinery, specific digital media can now be best thought of as discrete ‘metaphysical objects’ – as things that we still call ‘films’, ‘photographs’, ‘sounds’, ‘poems’, ‘recipes’ – but objects nonetheless, some we might call invoices, others we will call artworks. How less of a real object is a virtual cat, chair or banana, than their physical equivalents? They all exist in the world as entities with their own essence and ontology. Medium specificity simply distinguishes media objects of a different nature, determining the medium’s essential qualities as an object separate from other objects in the world.

The essence of the medium or format, like the essence of any object, is never fully approached or appreciable, the whole of the object is never apprehended all at once; traces of its essence however are on occasions visible: the grain of the film betrays its photo-chemical nature, the scratch its physical material, etc. Remediation has ensured that the material tropes of physical analogue moving image media forms have become thoroughly subsumed into HD, but as effect rather than as material essence. Essences and questions of materiality can also be applied to electronic and digital media; as the ‘whole’ of the object is never appreciated and, like indexicality and hapticity, is unconstrained by notions of physicality, media can be considered as objects, or mega-objects, with qualities of ontologically equal, or at least non-competing status as material objects. HD as a medium isn’t some kind of dematerialized digital state of imminence ready to emulate and then better pre-existing analogue media forms, it has its own visual representational qualities made possible by a material base oriented as a manifested object as a specific

thing it itself.

In the development of his object-oriented philosophy, Graham Harman takes Heidegger’s formulation of the tool-being, starting with the broken tool analogy that a piece of equipment reveals itself as a discrete object once it stops being useful. HD can also be described in this way, it’s existence as a medium is not noticed until it no longer functions in the invisible mediation of information. Glitch effects break the medium revealing something of its essence as intended or otherwise artifacts of malfunctioning code, compression or hardware, as HD becomes commonplace weird artifacts with exotic names like macroblocking and mosquito noise are becoming everyday experiences.

Harman extends tool analysis to all objects and in this sense the tool isn’t an object that is “used”, it simply ‘is’ and that “…to refer to an object as a “tool-being” is not to say that it is brutally exploited as means to an end, but only that it is torn apart by the universal duel between the silent execution of an object’s reality and the glittering aura of its tangible surface.” (Graham Harman, ‘Object-Oriented Philosophy’, Towards Speculative Realism, 2009). In returning to Walter Benjamin’s assertion about the dubious status of the auratic in mechanical, electronic and digital reproduction as investigated in Terry Flaxton’s discussions above, we can propose that in Harman’s terms a digital medium conforms to the conditions of being an object: its visible manifestation has a tangible audio visual surface, it has aura, but it is also an object which draws attention to itself as such when it is broken, glitch artifacts, which is to say the broken workings of the code, compression and hardware, attest to its essence and its materiality.

Critical examinations of moving image medium specificity in art and cinema have been predicated on a critique of use of the media by cultural practitioners, such as Rosalind Krauss in A Voyage on the North Sea: Art in the Age of the Post-Medium Condition (2000) or Noël Carroll in Theorizing the Moving image (1996), which while diverging from Greenbergian Modernism occupy more or less the same predominantly humanist critical ground where art objects and media are framed solely in relation to the human producer and reception. However while human art practice moves away from specificity, inventing a world of relationism, process, and the ongoing project, the medium and the object have not simply ceased to exist.

Graham Harman offers the tantalizing assertion that “…the dualism between tool and broken tool actually has no need of human beings, and would hold perfectly well of a world filled with inanimate entities alone.” Where could this take us as a speculative object-orientated metaphysical materiality, conceiving of a post medium specificity which attends to the materiality of the media object, that has an essence, ontology and contingency at least equal in value and status to that of the artwork, the artist, or any other object in the world?

The future of materialist video nostalgia

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 | Posted by Steven Ball

MiniDV logo

During the 1990s tape media based digital video (DV) in the form of the miniDV cassette format replaced existing analogue video, particularly camcorder formats such as Video 8, Hi8, and VHS. Promoted as new small portable media, the success of miniDV was due to its high quality compared to portable domestic analogue tape formats, it was capable of much higher resolution image recording than its predecessors, comfortably considered to be ‘broadcast quality’. MiniDV was embraced by both the domestic market and ‘professional’ production, and while arguments about its resolution relative to that of

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16mm film raged (possibly still do) on experimental film discussion lists such as Frameworks, for a while it became the format of choice for many low-budget feature film and documentary productions. Some of the high-end consumer (so-called ‘prosumer’) and professional model camcorders boasted high quality lens and other industry standard technologies, CCDs, chipsets and so on, which made the quality of the images produced close enough to being comparable to professional analogue formats like Betacam SP, effectively cancelling the equation that domestic video format = low resolution.

Firewire cables

Naturally enough miniDV was also embraced by artists. Concurrent with domestic level video becoming capable of these higher resolution, the means of production became accessible as never before as computers, particularly those manufactured by Apple Macintosh, shipped with ever faster processors, more RAM, increased hard drive capacity, while Firewire technology made it easy to capture the digital video from the camera tape to the computer for editing. MiniDV and desktop video made higher resolution videomaking affordable, simple and domestic, just as super-8mm filmmaking had been in decades past, and artists’ video facilities started to go out of business.

My memory of the way digital video was first received is that there was an acknowledgement of the increase in resolution and all the presumed benefits that offered, alongside an often expressed opinion that digital images lack depth, looking somehow flatter than their analogue predecessors. These latter comments seem to have diminished fairly quickly as viewers have become accustomed to viewing digital images. The wider accessibility of the means of digital video production were also the conditions that made a materialist glitch practice possible. Technological developments often provide a context for new artistic ones and accessibility to digital video afforded practitioners ample time to play with the medium, to explore its essential qualities, to discover and exploit its mutability. In some ways there is a parallel between this and the way access to 16mm film technology at film coops in the ’60s/’70s made structuralism and materialism in film possible, or how the arrival of domestic VHS in the ’80s made crash edited scratch video possible.

Transformations Stephen Sutcliffe

Transformations (2005) by Stephen Sutcliffe

However my concern here is not just with a simplistic causal technological determinism as it is with the speculation that there are qualities dependent upon these media technologies that become

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perceptible in retrospect, and that this is as much the function of the relationship of media based objects in culturally determined networks. When a format becomes displaced in the culture by another the materiality of the old media becomes more noticable. Consider how the quality of home recorded VHS broadcast images carry a complex nostalgia in the work of an artist like Stephen Sutcliffe. In his earlier works the soft electronic milkiness of the VHS format becomes a visual signifier for memory when coupled with soundtracks evoking the recently unconscious, much in the way that the grain of super 8 film is often used to evoke nostalgia, memory, other perceptual states in mythopoeic and narrative film. The essential qualities of these media become more visible in hindsight as they become intentional objects. In particular their non-mutable qualities, not those revealed or exaggerated by glitch and other materialist techniques. The assertion here is that the material qualities or essences of a medium are always present, even when hidden or not visible, but that perception of the inherent qualities of these objects change in time.

When will the essential visual qualities of miniDV begin to become visible? In the other instances mentioned above non mutable media material visibility has occurred some time after the point where a ‘higher resolution’ format has displaced the earlier one in terms of currency, after a kind of perceptual interval during which essential qualities of that format become more recognisable through a process of nostalgic unmediation, the ghosts of the media format become exorcised. That moment may not quite be imminent for miniDV, but the High Definition turn in TV, cinema and domestic video, as well as in artists’ work, suggests that it is a distinct possibility for the not-too-distant future.

In the mean time, in spite of increase in resolution of digital moving image media with the development of HD, and talk in various contexts about ‘post-media’, in the cinema, the gallery, on the internet, and elsewhere, the materialist ontology of moving image media is, as we shall see, just as contingent as it ever was.

Click to glitch

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 | Posted by Steven Ball

What was a glitch 10 years ago is not a glitch anymore. This ambiguous contingency of glitch depends on its constantly mutating materiality; the glitch exists as an unstable assemblage in which the materiality is influenced by on the one hand the construction, operation and content of the apparatus (the medium) and on the other hand the work, the writer, and the interpretation by the reader and/or user (the meaning) influence its materiality. Thus, the materiality of the glitch art is not (just) the machine the work appears on, but a constantly changing construct that depends on the interactions between text, social, aesthetical and economic dynamics and of course the point of view from which the different actors are involved and create meaning.

Rosa Menkman – Glitch Studies Manifesto

The Glitch Studies Manifesto is both timely and anachronistic; while it’s tempting to think that we’ve been here before, the Manifesto simultaneously represents a return to and a development of the glitch phenomenon bringing it new relevance. As Rosa Menkman suggests, what a glitch is now, is not what it was then; glitch as practice has begat glitch as a genre, genre relies on practice in context.

In the Manifesto Menkman declares that the “beautiful creation of a glitch is uncanny and sublime”, which she infers is an accident, the result of machine failure, contrasting this with the process of “the creation of a formally new design, either by creating a final product or by developing a new way to re-create or simulate the latest glitch-archetype” which she characterizes

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as a domesticated “conservative glitch art”.

While the glitch aesthetic has been mutating and hybridizing, as a genre it has traveled some way from its origins. By example the name of the Soundcloud glitch group seems anomalous, the music tends to be variations on drum n bass or dubstep and there is little of the dynamic abrasion one might associate with glitch. I recently saw a performance by ‘pioneer’ glitch musician Markus Popp/Oval,

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and while he still employs clicks and whirs, it has become slick, sophisticated and rhythmically complex, the glitchy rawness of the sound which once gave his music its striated melodic tentativeness has become smoothed and controlled. The direct effect of the broken technological tool that reveals its own materiality through malfunction made visible as glitch artefact, seems to have undergone a kind of aesthetic remediation.

Has the glitch phenomenon become nostalgic aesthetic materialism, renowned as much for the distinction of introducing the aesthetics of digital materiality to a Kanye West video

 

as a post-digital dystopian apocalypse effect? Perhaps some future image software will have a button to click to glitch (perhaps it already exists, let me know in the comments if it does), the sort of remediative emulation that once drove the design of Adobe After Effects filters that reproduce ‘realistic’ film scratches and the grain of legacy film stocks, or the Hipstamatic iPhone app which creates digital photographic images that look like seventies snapshots.

If glitch has to some extent become redefined as an effect does it matter? Must glitch be solely conceived of as the result of the specificity and mutability of digital media? In analogue technology the sound of the scratched record, whether this be produced by an accidental nudge, or as a trope in recorded music as an innovative rhythmic force transforming the recording into a sampling instrument in the hands of Grandmaster Flash

 

or as post- analogue nostalgia for the surface noise of recorded music

 

is still emblematic of the indexical and media specific materiality, the stylus in the groove, the materiality of the sound object in itself retains its agency, intentionally or otherwise. Does glitch-as-effect, glitch producing software, maintain an aesthetic symbolic link to the materiality of the hardware, retaining the trace of mutability and digital materialism? Which is to say that if the glitch effect is not physical, then effect as the index of digital malfunction can just as just as validly be considered to be symbolic and significatory.

However if glitch as practice or genre is not to be totally pensioned off as retro kitsch remediation, where is its renewed critical currency and efficacy to be found? If we are thinking in terms of the materiality of digital media, then what of the materiality of the digital post-medium? Post-medium in that, as is well known, in the past ten or so years widely accessible increased network bandwidth, coupled with more powerful domestic computing, has made the internet a viable context for social and media based activity. After years of promise convergence has become a reality as text, moving and still image, and sound increasingly circulate on the same global network of computers on a number of complementary platforms and applications, each dedicated to variations in mode and reception of dissemination across a range of forms.

Critical Artware were formed from a collaborative group of artist-programmers-hackers based in Chicago, interested in the connections, ruptures and dislocations between early moments of Artware or Software Art and other instruction set oriented approaches to conceptual and code-based practices such as Fluxus, Conceptualism, and early Video Art. As can be seen from the video on their website

 

which partly documents their activities including their participation in Blockparty, their activities are both critically subversive and productive. The video online processes documentation through glitch techniques, echoing the fragmentary logic of glitch aesthetics, documenting both real time and space events, shot through with a fast montage of projections of material on Vimeo, flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Ustream, as well as hacked software, media and signal manipulation, games, networks, etc. The crucial activity is social, but crucially through both real-world and online meet ups, each permeates the other to the point where they becomes indistinguishable. The website itself becomes part of the expanded milieu as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the video documentation itself from the images of the meet-ups and events from the web within the documentation from the browser window from the website itself, perhaps ultimately from the very desktop and screen of your computer.

This undifferentiated mash-up of objects into a kind of synergistic entropy, in which the glitch is not simply a reified materiality but also fragments and disrupts communication, accelerates the fragmentary logic of multitasking social situations on and off line, both a glitch transmission and a real world symbolic representation of the glitch logic of fragmentation as anarchic mischiefness becomes a mobilising force

While the work of Critical Artware uses social networks as both a platform and an object of critique, the potential for online video means that Rosa Menkman’s Noise Artifacts Vimeo group can approach a critical mass of its own. At the time of writing the group numbered 339 members who had posted 512 videos. The materiality of discrete media objects operate within the complex materiality of the hyperobject of the world wide web, the glitch operates within the ontology of both.

Accelerating accidents

Monday, February 21st, 2011 | Posted by Steven Ball

…malfunction and failure are not signs of improper production. On the contrary, they indicate the active production of the ‘accidental potential’ in any product. The invention of the ship implies its wreckage, the steam engine and the locomotive discover the derailment (Paul Virilio as quoted in The Tipping Point of Failure, Rosa Menkman, catalogue essay, 2010)

Incorporating the accidental, the indeterminate effect, has a long and familiar history in twentieth century art practice: from Duchamp to Cage to Fluxus, and so on.  Following on from Cage’s fascination with chance and the I Ching, consulting an oracle became a domesticated methodology for Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt with their Oblique Strategies (1975) set of cards, in which randomly selected cards were intended to offer a strategic route out of creative deadlock. Were it not such a pompously worded piece of pseudo crypticism, one of the instructions to “honour thy error as a hidden intention” could almost be a motto for the glitch practitioner. However glitch as a phenomenon and a genre moves beyond honouring error, rather it mobilizes error, indeterminacy becomes failure, which becomes instrumental. The efficacy of error and failure provides a methodological basis materially integrated with media technology, which is understood in the last fifteen years or so to be digital media. Glitch has helped to introduce the notion of materiality to digital media-based art forms, what I have characterised as a digital materialist practice, not without some irony for a media technology usually understood to be lacking physicality.

My accidental discovery of digital materiality came in the late nineties, when while experimenting with digital sound and image I found that it was possible to open a sound file in Adobe Photoshop. This was clearly an unintended use of the application and it struggled with the operation, but by trial and error I was soon able to open the sound as an image, parsed as largely highly saturated noisy colourful abstractions, like this:

Alas subsequent versions of the software simply refuse to recognize sound files at all. I went on to experiment with combinations of sound as image, image as sound, parsing both as text, back to image, and so on. The manifestations of the mutability of the media through digital noise that were outcomes of the processes were incorporated in a number of my video works such as Sevenths Synthesis, Local Authority (both 2001) and Metalogue (2003).

The wilful incorporation of digital materialist mutated media is very much part of the impulse to glitch, as it symbolises and demonstrates the material substratum of a medium designed to remain transparent. My particular interest was in this question of materiality, which I related to the materialism of an earlier experimental film practice. The paradoxical question of the apparent lack of digital physicality and indexicality, was interesting and problematic. The conditions that make such materialist explorations possible result from the subversion of the normal functions of the digital apparatus, whether this is ‘actual’ physical material becomes a moot point, there is (symbolic or otherwise) representation of the materiality of the media, revealed through that which is in excess to its transparency, through the production of artefactual objects.

What precedents were there for this in electronic media? A materialist film practice (‘materialist’ both physically and dialectically) was well-established, but in the nineties there was little precedent in digital moving image, it was a ‘new media’. Analogue electronic media-based art tended to be concerned primarily with video as semiotic and pragmatic, while some artists such as Peter Donebauer and Steina & Woody Vasulka, were concerned with abstract synthetic electronic properties. But with the exception of the Vasulkas in works such as Noisefields and Soundgated Images (both 1974), and work made at the Experimental TV Centre in New York, few seemed to have explored the possibilities and implications of material mutability of the electronic signal beyond its manifestation as mystic symbolism or psychedelic immersive properties. Later Malcolm Le Grice’s Digital Still Life (1986) and Arbitrary Logic (1989) explored more programmatic relationships between digital sound and image.

There was however a much more concerted and identifiable practice developing in music. Yasunao Tone had been involved with Fluxus and very much in the milieu of conceptual indeterminate operations, produced works such as Musica Iconologos (1993) which ‘translates’ digital images of characters into sound,

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and Symphony for Wounded CD (1997) which consists literally of the sound glitches produced by a damaged compact disc. Glitch became the aesthetic language of the ‘clicks and cuts’ musicians, in a computer-based development of the circuit bending practices of the post-punk DIY scene, popularized in the late nineties by the likes of Oval, Autechre, Aphex Twin, etc. Parallel to this early net art pioneers jodi were exploring the aesthetics and mutability of raw code out of control, wreaking uncontrollable havoc in your browser window.

Around the turn of the century a number of video makers started to embrace the glitch noise imperative, such as Dutch Austrian duo reMI and Bas van Koolwijk. Much of this work is realized in collaboration and in performance.

The harsh noise and busy flickering digital abstraction suggested a new formalism without the idealism of modernism, new possibilities emanated from the heart of the code itself, while the visceral experience of viewing and hearing was similar to the post-individualist dissonant jouissance of noise music. However there seemed to me to be little potential for the form beyond ever more intensified neo-psychedelic immersion. Notwithstanding attempts at formalizing the practice in events such as Abstraction Now, Vienna, 2003 or Simon Yuill’s interesting theorizing of digital materialism as analogous to modernist architecture as Code Art Brutalism, the law of diminishing returns starts to either up the ante or reduce the effectiveness through familiarity, and innovative technique shaded into predictable trope. My last glitch-inflected digital video was The War on Television (2004), which intended to explore/expose the mutability of the then newly ubiquitous televisual digital media as a dialectical opposition to media transparency, both in terms of the ostensible quality of the interference-free image that digital TV claimed to provide, and the authority of the news it now carried twenty four hours a day. By 2004 digital materialism was no longer enough in itself, for me there was an imperative for it reflect a position in relation to the political and cultural effects of what was happening with the media, in the media, in the world.

The effect of datamoshing in the hands of Takeshi Murata became a post-materialist abstracted psychodrama, and with its promo video friendly soft glitchy manipulation, a refined aesthetic which can be absorbed to satisfy conventional notions of pleasing abstraction, much in the way that glitch in the music of the likes of Oval and Christian Fennesz becames integral to conventions of melodic structure and ambient musical atmospherics. My disaffection was confirmed as glitch and compression artifacts became co-opted into such conventional form. As a dialectical formal strategy glitch is an essential object, its qualities set it in opposition, but by the end of the century its once radical potential seemed to have been exhausted and domesticated. I was thinking that perhaps after all of this the idea of digitial materiality might return to the physical object to gain some tactical contingency; could the process begun by Yasunao Tone’s Wounded CD… finds its apogee in the work of Jin Sangtae

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whose 2008 Extensity Of Hard Disk Drive leaves data behind altogether to pay attention to the physical materiality of the hard drive itself?

However Rosa Menkman has now revivified the practice, published her Glitch Studies Manifesto, and is rigourously collecting data and theorizing the phenomenon in a way that’s not so far been done. This has suggested to me a new traction for glitch, digital materiality and medium specificity and in future posts I intend to explore and expand on this, speculating on their renewed currency, efficacy and implications across contemporary practice, and perhaps beyond.