Micro-Project 04: Exquisite Glitch

About the project

We get into randomly assigned groups of 3 – 4 people and we take turns to add layers and layers of glitch to a self portrait of ourselves. I chose to photograph my fringe which I thought best represented how people recognised me. (Warning: horror genre up ahead)

sihui as a human

Exquisite corpse: fringe (and eyes cos melo say show eyes better so ok lor)

sihui as an emo rock star

glitch progress: liquify / glitch wizard: melo

sihui as sadako’s cousin

glitch progress: colour + hue + saturation / glitch wizard: reuben

sihui creeping into your laptop screen

Glitch progress: layer duplication + noise / glitch wizard: me

sihui’s laptop screen revenge

Glitch progress: see you in your dreams tonight. don’t turn on the tv. / glitch wizard: siqi

  • Describe how this process of collective image creation and decomposition creates a glitch transformation.
  • How is each transformation creating a new form of its precursor?

With each round of transformation, the original image looks less and less recognisable from the original.

From Glitch Studies Manifesto, “an interruption is made to the original image that shifts an object away from its ordinary form and discourse.”

The medium we used is Photoshop. The final outcome is unpredictable and random, yet there is some control when we are aware of the tools we use to distort the image.

Exquisite corpse created by Reuben, Si Hui, Melo and Siqi
Class discussion
  • Does the first person who distort the photo have the most freedom to glitch the image?

Yes, because they start with a clean slate. But no also, because there is no limit to creativity.

  • When do you know when to stop?

When we are satisfied with the aesthetic.

Readings on Glitch Practices
  • How do glitch artists embrace mistakes, errors and accidents?
  • How does glitch fight genres, expectations and conventions in art?


  • Dirty new media
  • Mixing machine language and human language
  • Noise and imperfections serve the aesthetics
  • Rebugging

Glitch studies manifesto

Distortion + Noise artifacts

“Glitch has no solid form or shape through time”

Noise is – disturbance / irregular / an interruption that shifts an object away from its ordinary form and discourse / a corrupted file / destructive generativity

“The artist tries to catch something that is the result of an uncertain balance , a shifting, un-catchablem unrealized utopia connected to randomness and idyllic distintegrations.

Naturally occurring glitches vs constructed glitch

“The glitch emphasizes what is normally rejected as a flaw and subsequently shows that accidents and errors can also be welcomed as new forms of usability.”

Class discussion
  • distortion / data manipulation / data bending
  • transforms the way the audience perceives the norm
  • embraces accidents
  • creating a new form by destroying and distorting something
  • breaking the rules and challenging what the software can do
  • what if you use audacity to edit images instead of photoshop
  • breaking and ripping apart the codes to reveal raw materials of the software



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