JonCates – Glitch

As I read the conversation with jonCates and researched some of the glitch media artists’ pieces, I found most interesting how he talks about the system which he creates in his works. These glitched systems may malfunction or be loud or have mistakes but Cates considers these imperfect aberrations to be the essence of his artworks.

“A poetic embrace of noise and error,”

the glitch media works to show the messy reality of our technologically driven lives, but in a positive and playful manner.

No doubt, communication in our lives heavily takes place on the web or through technology. This gap between the language of our daily interactions and the language we use on our machines is closing in terms of how we handle ourselves on each. As this gap closes, our lives evolve into a techno-social system like that in Cates’s video. In this techno-social system, we communicate both in reading information and sharing it out to others. Cates calls this

“the performance of everyday life that we’re all doing all the time with all of our technologies.”

Can living be measured by our use of technologies? I don’t believe so, at least not entirely. But it can be a valuable source of information and data storage, a platform in which we live out our communication and therefore, our life.

As our lives revolve around these complex tech-social interactions, technology-facilitated communications start to reflect our instinctive verbal communication and language. Yet, jonCates doesn’t seem to reflect life accurately, choosing to break the reality of daily interactions through layering of text, noises and web interactions in his glitch work. It seems that this is what gives the glitch media the name “dirty new media,” speaking to the chaotic reality of our lives which is reflected in how we use technology. However, I would argue that because it deviates from logic and our communication habits (such as pausing, thinking, reflection, silence, etc.) the glitch media example of BOLD3RRR was not very pleasing to watch or listen to. Cates believes glitch aesthetic is growing in popularity to the point where it is not

“exclusively resistant or exclusively political,”

but I think the glitch media art field would need to greatly expand for the aesthetic to be more accepted or logical.

One Reply to “JonCates – Glitch”

  1. I very much appreciate your thoughts and I thought you expressed the techno-social aspects of Jon Cates works very well. You made me think about how accurate he is in fact portraying our everyday life on the screens. I suppose for an artist such as Jon Cates, I would think his portrayal is an accurate one, at least for him, but maybe not for others. Just imagine if Jon Cage or the Futurists might have performed their everyday actions in some form, it might have been quite similar! But you raise very important points about the nature of glitch and its assimilation into the mainstream. There are recently some examples of glitch in popular music such as Kanye West’s “Welcome to Heartbreak.” Take a look at this piece and you will see how he has integrated the glitch effect called “datamoshing” into his work:

    Excellent piece and I am happy to see you be so candid about your observations.

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