– I could stay here all day

When we think of programs and code, we think of near-perfect structures that function flawlessly.  In reality, programs and websites are far from flawless. Since they are made by humans, they are also capable of carrying human error. The art collective Jodi breaks down the various elements of websites and games to highlight the occurrence of glitches and create something new from these sources.

Jon Cates’ idea of dirty new media is that it isn’t perfect or clean, due to their very existence in the world:

… But also that there is a non-neutrality of techno-social artifacts and contexts, that our technologies are not neutral, also that they are embedded, they are part of our lives, and that embeddedness has the word “bed” in there, we’re in bed with them also, they’re embedded in ways that are complex. They are not sterile, they’re imperfect, they are not clean, because they exist in the world, which is also imperfect. And so, I do believe that dirty new media as a way of life and as an approach to art making is a way of foregrounding these facts, these realities, of our lived experiences, and acknowledging how situated we are with all of these systems, and artifacts.

Jon Cates 

Jodi is not just one site, it is a collection of various websites, each one a separate project doing different things. They attempt to use and modify sites and games in doing things that they were not originally designed to, to create glitch scenarios and share them with the world. One site creates random patterns using signs in Google Maps. Another site uses randomly generated ASCII art and JavaScript. They explore the limits of certain game engines, such as Max Payne 2’s game engine by modifying them to do different things outside their intended purpose by the developers. They explore combining videos that have the same tag on YouTube by playing them side by side. These sites are among many others that create something out of another’s work by breaking them down, or re-purposing them.

These works highlight the human limitation of machines. Whilst these sites and games work well for their purpose for the most part, taken to a different context and purpose, they react in a disjointed, confused manner. They are far from perfect. The potential and purpose of a program is limited to what a person makes it to be, and thus leaves a lot open to glitch about, which Jodi highlights.

In modern internet culture, most people actually enjoy glitches (so long as they aren’t game breaking), as seen with various YouTube channels such as cricken and motdef, and the popularity of games such as GTA, which was well known in its early days for the ridiculous cheats one could put in, causing cars to fly around and pedestrians having military-grade guns. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are well known for their buggy, yet hilarious launches, with physics being way off, and limbs splattering about everywhere. Most open world games are subject to tons of glitch interactions, due to the wide amount of things to do and limit in developer scope, which leads to interesting situations. Whilst these recent trends do not necessarily go about breaking down games into an abstract interactive form, I do feel that they capture the playfulness and the curiosity of Jodi in exploring the limits and quirks of technology.

I think Jodi is an amazing collective, featuring great modifications with games and sites, and highlighting the “organic” factor of machines. Machines are capable of so much greatness, but are ultimately creations of man, and are subject to the failings of men as well.

Author: JN Fernandez

They don't think it be like it is, but it do.

3 thoughts on “ – I could stay here all day”

  1. There are a whole bunch of glitches in Skyrim as well. The most intruging thing is that such glitches are functionally usable to complete certain quests in the game. It might actually be a form of “rebugging” from the user’s end too.

    I love that video. Hahahaha. Thumbs up!

  2. That’s a great point about cheats as glitch in games! Haha when my sister and I played Black Hawk Down we always used to try and get the soldier eaten by a characterXD

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