28 January 2014

Glitch Art: A Beautiful Error

       Don't you hate it when either your television appears all fuzzy and glitchy?  Or when your computer has a malfunction?  Well I have recently discovered what the itch is about the art of glitch.  In the last 10 years Glitch art has started to become popular all over America!  It is where you take a digital file and distort the data or code in a way that manipulates the file to make it look like it is glitching on purpose.  By controlling the way the file is altered, you create a visually interesting appeal as can be seen in the picture to the right.  It usually consists of pixelated and of a wide variety of vivid, almost psychedelic-like colors.  Glitch art can either be moving or static.  Many designers and artists are starting to either replicate these happy accidents in either Photoshop or it can also be done in TextEdit.  A lot of great examples can also be found on Tumblr.

       As it can be seen, glitch art is not like your normal media.  Today in magazines, photos are in high definition and altered in a different way so that the models (mostly women) are slimmed down, tanner, and longer hair; what is deemed to be attractive in today's society.  Glitch art shows people that photos do not always need to appear "attractive" and is displayed in a new light where it can be thought of as beautiful and considered to be art.  If you open your eyes and look around, you can see true glitches on a daily basis.  This video below explains what glitch is, how you can make a glitch, and why it is considered to be art.  Enjoy!


  1. Glitch art is a fantastic concept. I have unfortunately not yet taken the time to make any myself, but I may have to go see what I can do. Also, it would be interesting to see if you could make pictures into music. They mention changing an mp3 file into a raw file and then opening in Photoshop. Could one do the reverse? Change a jpg or psd into a raw and open as music? If it is possible, the results may sound horrifying. Or fantastic. Maybe it is possible to create music through pixel art. Music of the future perhaps?

    1. Yes, as matter of fact I've heard musical work produced in this matter. Unfortunately, I can't seen to find it again. But they basically feed the bits used by the image into an audio decoder. It sounded pretty weird. Music to images has been done too. It is also common to use a program like Audacity to corrupt an image file to produce interesting result. A related form of art work is the creation of music based on a particular data set, such as music composed using the Fibonacci sequence.

  2. Last year in my 2D art class we were assigned a glitch photography project. At first I thought it was going to be difficult, and tedious. However, after learning the techniques involved, and seeing the end result--I found it to be great fun! I enjoy the vast array of colors that it produces and how images become manipulated in such bizarre ways. Technology and it's advancements may introduce a whole new level of glitch art and I am excited to see where it goes in the future of art and design. Have you ever made any glitch art?

  3. A simple way to try it out, is to open an image/jpg with Text/Edit, scroll down a quarter of the way, and start cutting, pasting, and copying the code. Save it and open it with Preview to see the results.
    *make sure you are working with a copy of an image, you don't want to ruin an original.

  4. Glitch art is really amazing to me! It's rather simple, but can produce some very interesting results. On a similar note has anyone heard of the photographer whose computer was stolen? The guy who stole it wiped the harddrive and when they recovered the files, they were damaged but in very cool ways (in my opinion made her kind of "artsy" photos better).

    I'll let you guys search for it since some are NSFW

    @Dr.John G
    I'll have try that out!

  5. I did a similar assignment like this in my 2D design class last year. It's a very interesting yet time consuming process. This type of art is very abstract to me but It's amazing to see what happens when you take the coding of these files apart.

  6. Glitch art is a really interesting concept for design. Although it is not necessarily my style, it can be a really creative way of producing art. I also did an assignment like this in my 2D design class last year it is a fun process but it can be frustrating at times because you don't know what is going to happen and how something is going to turn out. I think it is starting to become a style that is more popular and unique today.