beflix- Digital corruption. Data visualization. Software error. Glitch VJ. Glitch aesthetics.

Rubrik » Interview Portrait

glitchart_1.gifTony Scott ist auf dem Gebiet der Glitch Art einer der Pioniere. Bereits seit 2001 widmet er sich nerdmäßig-korrekt seinem Projekt (mit dem etwas uneingängigen Namen) Auf seiner Homepage gibt er tiefe Einsichten in technologisches und ästhetisches Neuland. Und extra für uns auf Phlow ein Interview.

Was ist Glitch Art überhaupt? Man nehme einen Computer und lasse ihn kontrolliert oder unkontrolliert zum Absturz bringen - crash! Der Output der Grafikkarte wird dabei klammheimlich gegrabbed und archiviert. Anschliessend werden diese Grafiken noch modifiziert und fertig ist die Glitch Art.

Hört sich simpel an, aber eröffnet ein unglaubliches Universum an Möglichkeiten und ästhetischen Reflexionen über Computersysteme und Computergrafik. Übrigens entsteht da quasi nebenher ein ganz neuer Style, der direkt aus dem inneren der Computer an den Strand gespült wird. Lasst die Maschinen sprechen! Perlentaucher Tony Scott ist übrigens auch als VJ unterwegs. Martin Wisniowski ist ihm im Netz hinterhergetaucht und hat ihn mit Emails torpediert. Ein Interiew über Technologie und Kunst.

glitchart_anim_1.gifPhlow: What are exactly the differences in thinking and working between getting the glitch and modifying them (technically and creative)?

Beflix: To answer the last part first: the only process I use when modifying a glitch is changing the colours, so that's obviously technically really simple, but choosing good colours is the creative part. It can take many hours... It gets harder to find novel sources of glitches. So, when you do find a new toy or process, you tend to really try and explore it very thoroughly, and find out the full range of images you can get from it.

Sometimes it can be disappointing and not throw up any good material. It helps to have some technical appreciation of software and file formats, and just general computer know-how - it can all be used to force programs to crash interestingly, or to hand-edit a movie file to mess up the header info.

glitchart_3.gifPhlow: You told me about your plans of making visual glitch live sets. Will you be making real live glitches from scratch or only use modified material and put 'em into a visual live set?

Beflix: I don't create real live glitches because - well - the whole thing has to have some degree of success guaranteed, and not just crash (when operating live).

I tend to do a different thing altogether in live sets from the still images. I like to start with photographs or scanned images and manipulate them using raw data to modulate different parameters such as position, colour and other harder-to-describe things.

When the task is to create 30 minutes of motion graphics to go with a musical mood, I am of the firm conclusion that having totally abstract, flickering, mad glitchy graphics would just be a horrible mess. So that's why I like to use some evocative photos as a vital ingredient. I went through a rockets and aeroplane phase last year. Currently my fixation is faces.

glitchart_2.gifPhlow: But wouldn't it be more logic to do only totally radical computer freaked out flickering glitches when thinking in aestetical terms?

Beflix: Well, a lot of people already do mad glitchy motion-graphics, and although they are OK to look at for a few minutes, I personally find it a bit tiresome. My only motivation in still images or live visuals, is to create images and moods that please me.

A glitch, after all, is usually an intermittent happening. The power of the glitch is that it occurs unexpectedly. If you are showing a constant stream of glitches, it’s no longer a surprise. I’m not hugely experienced in doing live visual sets, but as I get more experience, I’m becoming more confident about having quieter, slow sections, followed by short manic parts.

glitchart_4.gifPhlow: This reminds me on music, that is only controlled by random parameters. Pure random is pretty boring...

Beflix: That's a good point about music controlled by random parameters - it just sounds rubbish! Contrast and a feeling for mood are what’s important. (I should add - "for me".)

Phlow: The glitches opened a new view in VJ and Design culture, that many people are still unaware of. Since you are one of the pioneers i want you to ask: Are there new rooms to explore (beyond or within glitch)?

Beflix: There are other aspects of the glitch aesthetic I want to explore: but slowly, at my own pace. There is still work to be done here and I tend to like to stick with one thing for a long time.

I actually can't wait for it to become really unpopular! When people are fed-up with seeing glitchy imagery all over TV and adverts and logos, then I'll still be doing my pictures. Actually, the images I create are becoming more mellow. I think I've gone through the standard blocky bright-green pixels phase. Some prints I've just produced for an exhibition have actually got nice pale blues and deep chocolaty browns. I was thinking of the colours of the T-shirts I used to wear when I was 7.


Phlow: That for the part including style, but what about technical aspects? Is there a new room for creative technology (ab)uses? What about artificial intelligence or nanobiological mutants...?

Beflix: I’m not interested in new technology for it’s own sake. The future is a large entity, however, and it’s likely that new devices will appear one day, that we can’t even imagine today, that will crash in interesting ways and create interesting images. The glitch concept can be applied to many areas of life. Mutant lifeforms (whether at the nano scale or not) is one example. This is an interesting area, and I’m actually working on a DVD documentary collaboration to explore exactly this kind of thing.

Phlow: Many thanks for this interview!


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Ich bin platt. Nicht nur weil mich diese Art der digitalen Ästhetik zu triefst beeindruckt, nein: Martin Wisniowski war es, der mich (mal wieder) mit einem Fingerschnipp auf eine neue Eindrucksumlaufbahn katapultiert hat. Zugegeben ein sehr persönliches Faszinosum, aber ich habe durch ihn wirklich schon viel Neuland entdeckt.
Immer auf der Suche nach Strömungen... Wahnsinn! Ganz dickes Lob von mir.

meint: [in]anace am 06.07.04

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