11/02/2012

The 'New' #Glitch aesthetics - exhibition


A couple of weeks back, I was asked to curate a mini exhibition around glitch within the event 'the New Aesthetic : Coded Perception' taking place the coming weeks at Setup, Utrecht. To be asked to work with Glitch Art under the header of the 'New Aesthetic' felt, at least at first, counterproductive. 

The New Aesthetic is a generalizing term; sometimes described as a Tumblr aesthetic (it involves the majority of all imagery available on Tumblr)[1]. It harbors a generalizing power that can easily ossify or commodify the urgencies at stake within any (new) media. Moreover, the term New Aesthetic doesn't involve anything new, no ideals && is non-critical. Many say its not even an aesthetic (at least not a singular one). 
Glitch on the other hand has an inherent potential of pushing and idealizing the non conformities of new media; it harbors a potential in its critical media aesthetics.

However, since Bridles coinage of the term 'New Aesthetic' at SXSW in March of 2012, the term New Aesthetic has stirred up a lot of mixed reactions, reflections and debates; both positive and negative. In any case, to me the key issue here is that there has been a lot of pushing and pulling. Which over time changed my perspective on the New Aesthetic from a 'non event' towards a realization that something is actually at stake here. So with this in mind I happily took this curational challenge.

Then a funny thing happened: Nick Briz was also asked to curate an exhibition right before me, so I chose my works knowing what Briz already had shown and bouncing of from where he left the conversation.

Nicks key points:
NewAesthetic =! #movement, #newWay0fSeeing, #aesthetic 
NewAesthetic == #conversation 
According to Briz, the glitch just plays the role of 'tag' in the conversation around the New Aesthetic. Glitch artists don't intentionally work under the umbrella of the NewAesthetic, but the NewAesthetic is definitely interested in glitch; it has tagged #Glitch many times. 

In short, Nick described the differences between the New Aesthetic and #Glitch but also their overlap. 

To me the term 'New Aesthetic' means something specific in terms of digital literacy - and here the tag #Glitch can be seen as a threshold.

While to the 'insider' or the digitally literate (such as for instance Mez Breeze), the term New Aesthetic comes across as a faux-directory, invoking vagueness around structures and distinctions already in place, the coinage of the term means something else in the light of the outsider; the digitally unliterate who is trying to pronounce a sensibility towards a foreign literacy. The term 'New Aesthetic' points towards a (digi-elite?) threshold, something that one can 'come to terms with', but which has not happened yet. This 'yet' is important. The New Aesthetic is not just a form of storyless abstraction; as everything new will become old again, the New Aesthetic will finally unravel into new aesthetics - a starting point to venture into digital literacy - or at least I believe that this will be the story for individuals that cope with the term. 

On his Tumblr, Bridle makes baby steps towards the unraveling of the New Aesthetic. In my mini exhibition, which I dubbed The 'New' #Glitch aesthetics, I took some steps into demystifying the Wicked Wizardry World of glitch, to unravel the tag that #Glitch can be from a glitch-literate perspective. But before,,, I just wanted to make a Briz inspired-style ; )


//demystifying the Wicked Wizardry World of #Glitch


definition#Glitch == perspectiveFilter


var definition.Filter = 'error' + 'effect' + 'sub-movements' + 'GLI.TC/H_Event' + 'linguistix' + '&&';

function Update () {
transform.#Glitch (0.0, rotateFilter, 0.0 * Time.deltaTime);
}



Well, I am sure there will be some runTime errors in that one, so instead now I will illustrate the point through these different mini-collections of #Glitch:


Google StreetView Glitches
#Glitch == error 
This mini set of malfunctions shows google streetview glitches, collected by Stallio!, jon Rafman, Hemmaroids and paperback writer.

Pixel sorting 
#Glitch == effect
I chose to show a collection of pixelsorting (featuring work by Paul Herz, Kim Asendorf and Adam Ferris and me and Kim) && datamoshing videos (earlier 'timeline' posted in from artifact to filter: Datamoshing)


#Glitch == sub-movements
such as the recent D1th3r_D00M group


#Glitch == GLI.TC/H_Event
GLI.TC/H is a community event that navigates the dark waters of the digitally literate pirates (or experts) aka the glitch artists.

#Glitch == &&
linguistix, politix, hardware hacking, music, _______, ~wildcard*

------- [1] David M. Berry, Michel van Dartel, Michael Dieter, Michelle Kasprzak, Nat Muller, Rachel O'Reilly and José Luis de Vicente, New Aesthetic, New Anxieties, Rotterdam: V2_ 2012.


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