A lot of talk has become of this topic amongst the tech and art worlds, and I have to confess it has been interesting to see the reaction on the topic. Something about “The New Aesthetic” ideas and discussions, for me, have been on my mind for a little while, and thought I would put them down. I’m certainly no academic and perfectly happy to be corrected if wrong (or to be completely ignored!), and I’m sure that the world doesn’t need another piece written about it. Anyway, if you are interested, carry on below …
Many of those interested in glitch aesthetics are familiar with the act of circuit bending - while running an electronic device (such as an old games console), apply contact to the circuitry to affect the data output (which could be audio or visual).
This has usually been experimented with old 8-bit / 16-bit gaming consoles such as the NES and the Sega Megadrive / Genesis, but up to this point it is hard to think of an example with the following generations of gaming hardware which were designed for 3D graphics. Due to the limitations of the earlier machines, the output was with 2D graphics and unsophisticated sound.
Had no plans of getting in to the gaming mods. I figured it was a pretty well charted and explored field. It wasn’t until I found my beloved model one Sega Saturn in grannie’s attic that I thought, “my old friend, i wonder what secrets you keep.” A little internet research (not the end all be all, I know) led me to realize that there isn’t much next generation gaming bends being explored out there. If there is then people aren’t posting it. Even the Playstation, seen in Goodwill stacks the world over, seems to have eluded the recent wave of electronic curiosity.
Upon opening the Saturn I found out why. It’s a very complex machine with very tiny components. One would need tweezers and a microscope to get anywhere with this thing (sound familiar? hehe). That’s the problem with modern circuitry, it’s all so goddamn mini. Mini, yes, but I would argue that it’s mythic there has been an increase in stability. Electronics that generate graphics will freak the f**k out if you hit ‘em just right regardless of whether they are from 2011 or 1991.
There are some great audio and video examples - here is my favourite, a glitchy Virtua Fighters example with crazy Ganz Graf-like reactive and unpredicatble polygons:
Also, here is another which is like a crazy polygon collage:
Sci-Fi-O-Rama takes a look at the aesthetics of 3D 8 and 16 bit games of yesteryear:
Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.
The era is the mid to late 80′s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.
I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.
Glitchr, the Facebook page that exploits bugs and errors within Facebook to create glitch aesthetics, demonstrates how it is possible to have small animated GIF files played within a post. Facebook doesn’t support the GIF format, so it is interesting to see it appear.
The file has to be incredibly small (38 kb, 130 x 98 pixels), and relabeled as an .mp3 file.
Online GIF Art site bubblebyte.org presents a collection of animations which looks at the aesthetics of interface interactions, here with Google Sketchup:
Instructors, the artist’s first solo show at bubblebyte.org, follows the research on imperceptible variations and takes the form of an on-line series of semi-autonomous 3D animations created exclusively for bubblebyte.org. The series adds to the artist’s personal web diagrams collection and functions as an extension of his site-specific and gallery work.
The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics (MOGA) is the latest work in Mark Amerika’s collaborative series of transmedia narratives. MOGA tells the story of The Artist 2.0, an online persona whose personal mythology and body of digital artworks are rapidly being canonised into the annals of art history. The piece traces the life of the artist and his ongoing commitment to a practice of ‘glitch aesthetics’ that leads to the museum of the title. MOGA will feature a wide array of artworks intentionally corrupted by technological processes including net art, digital video art, digitally manipulated still images, game design, stand-up comedy, sound art, and electronic literature. The project will also include a mock museum catalog available in both free e-book and print-on-demand editions.
The project will be launched on June 22, 2012, in conjunction with the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
MOGA is a new commission by the Abandon Normal Devices.
Mark Amerika is a Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Principal Research Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at La Trobe University, and an ATLAS Institute Fellow.
studio RHE a london-based firm has recently completed ‘lido mar’, in tivat, montenegro. the new marina development is built on an former yugoslavian navy submarine dry dock at porto montenegro. the structure features a grand bronze sculpture which sits upon an 80 meter long infinity pool to reveal the detailed geometric mosaic below.
Joe Hamilton, whose Hyper Geography blog is the most creative use of the Tumblr platform, has put together an accompanying video which takes the aesthetics of the project in moving image format, combining natural landscape with digital vectoral spaces.