Research Critique 03: The Art of Destruction

How does your project embrace problems, inconsistencies and accidents?

Burning the portrait out in the open, we cannot control how the flame travels through the paper or the wind that may put out the flame. We can only choose which corner to start burning from, and the rest is up to nature.

How is the medium in your work transformed from its original state through the act of deterioration and destruction?

“The perfect glitch shows how destruction can change into the creation of something original.” – Glitch Studies Manifesto

The medium of the work starts out in black and white digital print on paper. Through burning the paper, the medium is transformed into delicate ashes that slowly dissipates into the air.

“Artists that work with glitch processes are therefore often hunting for the fragile equilibrium; they search for the point when a new form is born from the blazed ashes of its precursor.” – Glitch Studies Manifesto

It is broken down into the raw form of the paper that has a soft, powdery texture in contrast with its more solid state initially.

“As an artist, I find catharsis in disintegration, ruptures and cracks. I manipulate, bend and break any medium towards the point where it becomes something new.” – Glitch Studies Manifesto

How is glitch and destruction an act of artistic expression?

“The procedural essence of glitch art is opposed to conservation.” – Glitch Studies Manifesto

I’m quite intrigued by the conversation between Randall Packer and Jon Cates on the functions and motivations behind glitch art. By making art out of flaws and mistakes, it is as if we are making machines more human.

“…from a computer science perspective, what you would want to do would be debugging and refining. But from a dirty new media perspective, what you might want to be doing is “rebugging,” and pushing different aspects of the machine worlds to see their thresholds, and experiment, and play.” – Jon Cates

They talk about how machines, softwares and systems were created to achieve perfection. But when we reverse this order by using these tools to do the opposite, which is to glitch and destroy, we create “chaos magic”.

“I would definitely say that there is a poetic embrace of noise and error.” – Jon Cates

The charm in glitch and destruction is that the outcome tends to be unpredictable and accidental. The artist does not have full control of the final outcome, making the process somewhat like a DIWO collaboration with the machine.

Leave a Reply