hi Rebecca Jackson
just as a quick intro: im jonCates, an Associate Professor in the Film, Video, New Media & Animation dept at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. my work is in the areas of Glitch Art theorypractices, the writing of Glitchystories + developing pedagogies for Noise && Dirty New Media Art. i have been making, showing, analyzing + teaching these kinds of works since the mid/late 1990s
congratulations on yr completed/released Masters thesis "The Glitch Aesthetic". Daniel Temkin shared a link to the PDF of yr research recently on Facebook + i downloaded the PDF which i have just read
you have many unique observations in general + in yr specific close readings of works by artists whom i know personally/professionally: Nick Briz is a former student of mine who worked closely w/me. he came to study w/us in my department, b/c of our support fo + development of the theorypractices now identified as Glitch Art. as you state, he is also now teaching at The School + is a personal friend of mine whose work i know very well. Rosa Menkman is also a friend + an inspiring figure in our field whom i brought to Chicago to present * as part of the 1rst GLI.TC/H. have also written on her * + she has written on me + my projects. * JODI, is of course a foundational inspiration to us + i am fortunate to know them also + to have been able to bring them to The School *, interview them * + stay in contact w/them
as sum01 who develops glitchscenes + works internationally on the topic of yr thesis i have sum thoughts/feelings to share + also have identified mistakes/missteps, both factual + interpretive (in my estimations) in yr thesis
my attn is focused on the aspects above rather than in yr analysis of Pop Glitch which i take to be a kind of Cultural Studies/Cinema Studies approach. i will respond to/address the Glitch Art aspects of yr thesis
yr identification of Glitches as "manifestations of the trickster archetype, creating random pass-ways between two very different worlds." is fascinating + exciting. it seems that this connection could/should be explored further
im also attracted to yr discussion of glitch as: miscommunication, error, noise, loss + incoherency
have you read: Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction - Caleb Kelly (2009) ? Kelly's text could help you in identifying the developments of brokenness, cracked-ness + glitch in musics. as i've written before/elsewarez, Electronic Music often anticipates Digital Art methods, models and aestheticonceptechniques. vii This is the result of simple pragmatics of computing and processing power in which operations as basic as copy/paste or as complex as synthesis and realtime processing are hystorically implemented on increasingly complex data formats (i.e. first in plain text, programming languages, then in audio and later in video capabilities). Digital sampling forms a conceptual basis for the conversion of the Analog Era into contemporary Digital Cultures. Analog operates as points of origin which simultaneously co-exist with and mayhaps are better rendered by the language of 'singular'-ness in relation to the Digital. Analog: singular. Digital: plural; multiple; instantiated...
on the issue of sum of yr mistakes, i have a few which i identified readily in my 1rst pass reading of yr thesis:
pixelation not entirely the correct technical term for what i think/feel that you mean. all digital media are compressed, encoded && decoded (via compression/decompression algorythms [codecs]) if they originated in anyway from our analog world. born-digital media is similarly rendered. in the case of imgs, these may be bitmapped (rendered via grids of pixels which contain various specific fixed values) or vector-based (rendered mathmatically via calculations of line, color, shape, etc) for instance. in the case of bitmapped digital visual media (i.e. imgs or video) the prescene of the pixel is more foundational than you account for. w/out pixels, & thereby technically a process of pixelation, bitmapped digital visual media is literally not possible. what you seem to be referring to w/yr use of the term is a more coloqueial use of the word 'pixelation' by which you seem to mean lowered resolution, a drop in img quality (either in still or in moving imgs) resulting from the intentional or systematic causes you detail
when you write that "Demagnetized videotape, typographical errors, and scratches on film or records produce effects similar to digital glitches." yr rendering a Kittleresque sequence of genealogies. but yr sequence is out of chronological order && framed in reverse: digital glitches are like analog errors/noise. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter by Kittler details the Media Art Histories and Genealogies of these materials + their effects, such as those produced by Typewriters, Gramophones + Film. if you want to add Radio && Television then the sequence would be: Typewriters, Grammaphones, Film, Radio, Television then Video. but to complicate this, if you add Computers to this list then the origins of computing pre-date Typewriters, their develop runs concurrent to the histories && genealogies along this list && then sits at the most recent develop in New Media Art b/c of _consumer_ technologies made for and marketed to the middle classes (&& most esp initially the upper middle class) in the US. in the mid-1980s this consumer home computing technologies && video game platforms remediated all previous media as well as introducing syncretic environments in which all these media would be mixed
as you seem to know in other moments during yr text, Glitch Art is not merely visual. Briz, as yr 1rst example, makes work which are time, screen && code based New Media Art projects. his works are distributed online via the web, installed as installations in galleries, screened in screening programs at festivals && released as executables to be run on individual machines/computers. in this, you have alrdy established that Glitch Art, as a form of New Media Art, is not limited to the visual, but is a mixed medium art. Glitch is also a form of music which has begotten a number of subsequent subgenres. Noise is also a kind of music && art related to && pre-dating Glitch Art or Glitch musics as culturally identified as such.
relying on Moradi && his distinctions is problematic. as Briz wrote recently about Moradi's binary distinctions: " I don't think that the binaries are particularly useful (though it was a good starting point for some conversations 7 or 8 years ago)" myself, Briz, Menkman + others are more focused now on continu[um]s within the distinctions you rely on
the manipulation of hardware and software as a process of Glitch Art making is certainly not limited to databending. rather, databending is a specific aestheticonceptechnique of manipulating software (&& usually only manipulating files rather than applications, altho exciting exceptions exist incln 8-BIT ROM hacking). manipulating hardware in the same/similar ways is referred to circuit-bending +/or hardware hacking (both of which differ slightly but cross over && both of which are found in Glitch Art, New Media Art && experimental forms of Electronic Musics)
datamoshing is a separate Glitch Art process which differs from databending, is not accomplished by creative misuse of files/software (i.e. as is the case w/certain databending processes which involve opening files as raw data in authoring applications not normally intended for their 'original' formats) but rather thru an unintended use of existing features in digital vid authoring apps
when you write that: Ant Scott is "arguably the Grandfather of the glitch art movement and the most famous glitch artist." you run the danger/risk of relying on patrilineage, a massive simplification to explain a complex set or series of moment[um]s in our shared glitchscenes. the danger/risk of patrilineages such as this in Media Art Hystories is explained for us by Martha Rosler in her Video: Shedding the Utopian Moment (from 1985 - 1986). the projects of variously famous (from various vector-views) artists such as Netochka Nezvanova, JODI, BEIGE Collective, etc, pre-date yr selection of Ant Scott as 'grandfather of Glitch Art'. i understand yr desire to do this work of identifying a singular author of an entire approach, but as i said you run dangerous risks in yr singular account, not only for the above reasons, but also through the exclusion of more complex reasoning which would be not only more rigorous but also more accurate. mythologizing master narratives in which authorship of a collaborative, collective or community-based effort/project/genre are attributed to singular individuals is an outmoded historiographic model. for example, my own projects (such as my green.qt_slippage.mov, a Glitch Art work [in the form 'pure glitch' documentation in the terms you use] from 1999) && subjective hystories (i.e. as documented in various interviews i've done, for instance in Riksutstallningar with Eduardo Navas) of growing up w/computers (in my case the Commodore 64 which i misused in terms of computer hardware and software, for instance playing back data recorded to cassette tape on my boombox to listen to raw data noise or reprogramming software) demonstrate that a singularizing account of heroic individuation in the shape of Ant Scott as Grandfather of Glitch Art intentionally overlooks the widespread colocation of our glitchscenes points of origins. my point is that Scott is undoubtedly important, but his experiences are not entirely unique. rather they are expressive of a generational moment, a set of circumstances + situations which led various ppl to various moments
also, i personally/professionally understand Scott's importance in/to the field. i exhibited alongside him in a 2-person exhibition called format.fetish in 2006, stay in contact w/him online + recently participated in GLI.TC/H as did he + many others in/of our glitchscenes. my point is again that overidentification of heroic individuation in a singular history is a separate issue to recognizing individuals importance with/in multiple hyperthreaded hystories
i have made a timeline, which now available for you here, of various resources (texts) that also demonstrate a set of histories of engagements in this field: http://GL1TCH.US/R35RCZ.html
in yr discussion of JODI youve made several mistakes in yr analysis:
JODI is most well known as experimental New Media Artists contributing to && therein defining almost every subgenre incln Artware, Art Games, Web Art, net.art, Browser Art, etc...
Briz was (as those a generation older than him such as myself) influenced/inspired by JODI (who are 2 generations older than Briz). so you should state that Briz is similar to JODI rather than vice versa
when you state that "Jodi uses a keen understanding of computational circuitry to create software glitches." the trouble is that JODI actually readily admits to having && working w/technologies in intentionally naive ways or in learning technologies as they make projects. They sumtimes enjoy the childlike use of systems or in learning/playing w/systems as their process. Now, this strategy of theirs, is in fact arguably an expression of a "keen understanding" or attention to Digital Culture rather than any of the specific technologies of Digital Art
JODI does have what is referred to by others as a screen grab period which does include their MAX PAYNE CHEATS ONLY project but their Untitled Game series, as well as the Jet Set Willy Variations, are executable Art Games, not videos nor screen captures/recordings.
your section on JODI's Untitled Game has many inaccuracies including the fact that JODI's interventions in Untitled Game are largely the result of a simple substitution of single pixel imgs (1 black + 1 white) for all existing img files in the games' existing structures. these are not technically 'hacks', but rather 'modifications'. Game Modifications (of this + much more complex forms) are an established aspect of Game Cultures prior to their use by New Media Artists in explicitly Art Games oriented projects
as stated above, the aestheticonceptechniques JODI mobilizes in their Untitled Game series are not results of 'manipulating codecs' or altering the binaries of these exectuable files as you claim
JODI's work is not available online despite their exhibiting "work internationally" but rather b/c they engaged w/the WWW + nets early + often, they have now established a simultaneous AFK career of international exhibitions + events
"A Skype Call with Jon Satron" should be "A Skype Call with Jon Satrom" by Rosa Menkman. Satrom (not "Satron") is a former student of mine, now an organizer of GLI.TC/H + current Instructor in the Film, Video, New Media & Animation dept @ The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
as i wrote above, i believe that you have sum vry compelling contributions to make, most especially i thin/feel in yr thoughts on Briz's work + the idea of the trickster which could be explored much much further + in much more depth. also, as i alrdy wrote, Daniel Temkin shared a link to yr PDF on FB + as i follow Daniel's feed as his friend + then this link was pushed up by "likes" from Nick + Rosa, i "liked" the link as well + downloaded the PDF. i have taken the time to read/respond b/c you have alrdy gathered the attn of the artists you discuss + yr work is alrdy being circulated in the glitchscenes you discuss. as such it is important to address/open questions that you raise in + through yr thesis
Film, Video, New Media & Animation dept
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago