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   movies: AESTHETICS
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   random art notes
   random how-tos
   research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES
   research: MOTION GRAPHICS
   research: VISUAL MUSIC
   theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS
   theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM
theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL
   theory: working notes

 

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SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  
 
on Glitches, Postcinema & Postdigital Aesthetics
 

I have been working with glitch techniques since the 1990s, first with analogue photography, then with digital imagery:

  • Glitch Art in Theory and Practice:
    Critical Failures and Post-Digital Aesthetics
    [link]
    Routledge, 2016
    ISBN: 978-1138219540

  • Harmonia: Glitch, Movies and Visual Music
    Wildside Press, 2017
    ISBN: 978-1479436095

  • "Critical Glitches and Glitch Art," Hz Journal, no. 19, July 2014 [link]

  • "The Invention of Glitch Video: Digital TV Dinner (1978)"  [preview .pdf]

  • Lardani's Signature: Technical Mastery and Apparent Glitch in Lardani's titles for Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly   [link] or [.pdf]
    Bright Lights Film Journal no. 81, August-September, 2013

  • An Easy 7-Step Protocol for Databending   [link] or  [.pdf]
    Signal Culture Cookbook, ed. Tammy McGovern, 2014
    ISBN: 978-0-9914917-0-4

  • The Kodak Excerpt (detail), Michael Betancourt, 2013

    More articles and translations are posted on MichaelBetancourt.com


     


    on 'The Unheimlich Glitch' in Utsanga.it

    story © Michael Betancourt | published March 28, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

    The journal Utsanga.it has a theoretical essay of mine on defamiliariazation (Brechts Verfremdungseffekt) and glitch art (technical failure). Here is an excerpt:

    The postcinematic aspects of the Unheimlich glitch cannot be under-emphasized. It is precisely a product of post-digitality violating the established ontological order of cinemathe differentiation between Modernist conceptions of medium-specificity and the convergent break-down of those boundaries by computer technologycoupled with the expansion of its dispositive by the emergent identifications of ambivalent meaning posed by a metastable articulation. The specifically Unheimlich (uncanny) dimensions of digital materiality for cinematic ontology (as demonstrated by the glitch) resides in displacements of established lexical expertise that become apparent in defamiliarization. It is not mere materiality, but its role in interpretation that is essential. Connections to the formal medium masks the ideological and lexical dimensions of post-digital challenges, effectively emphasizing materiality to the exclusion of both critical and normative modes adaptation to immanence and maintenance of familiar order.




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    Modernism = "Cinema"

    story © Michael Betancourt | published February 12, 2018 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

    Cinema has always been linked to Modernist aesthetics: the definitions of commercial film, the avant-garde film, and video art as autonomous, independent and entirely separate from each other argues against their contextual influences and the hybrid crossings between them. The historical organization of cinema as a serious art form in the 1960s and 1970s linked the earlier selections of great films to an explicitly Modernist conception of motion pictures as an essentially realist, narrative form whose connections to the American art critic Clement Greenbergs teleological purity was revealed by the parallel articulation of the structural film in the avant-garde cinema by P. Adams Sitney. This Modernist heritage shapes the debates over postcinema, a reflected in the great films re-used as foundational axioms. This conception of cinema makes the contemporary challenge by digital technology emergent in postcinema inevitable as this model requires a denial of the convergences created by computer technology.




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    Postcinema: Naming the Glitch, New Aesthetic & Post-Digital

    story © Michael Betancourt | published July 25, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

    The convergence of immaterial digital processes and the physical world is an increasingly obvious part of everyday experience, and has been steadily getting more attention since the start of the twenty-first century. There is nothing new about this relationship, which has been developing since at least the 1980s, but what is of interest is how these developments have stopped being new and simply become a part of everyday reality, accepted and largely ignored as just an aura of the digital. The variety of terms attempting to name these developments reveals the different approaches and concerns of the people introducing them: as challenge, as celebration, as philosophical shift.




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    Flow and Friction: a thesis on tactical glitching

    story © Michael Betancourt | published July 24, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

    I recently read my copy of Vendela Grundell's book, Flow And Friction: On The Tactical Potential Of Interfacing With Glitch Art and was pleasantly surprised to see my critical framework for considering 'glitch art' being applied to a new area, web design. I would be interested to see her analysis applied to media works as well, rather than just publications, but I can see the importance of art history working with web media. I am glad to see more work being done on the convergence of glitch processes and tactical media.






     
    'Glitch Art' as a Movement?

    story © Michael Betancourt | published July 10, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



    theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL

    Recently, I was asked during the Q&A after a talk if I think glitch art is a movement. The problem with calling the amorphous collection of people working with glitch art a movement is precisely its shapelessness: the things being done and called glitch art have been around and in use by artists since the late 1970s and first started to become prominent during the 1990s, emerging more-or-less independently in places as diverse as London, Chicago, Oslo and Miamiall places also associated with the use of glitches in electronic and avant-garde music. This plurality of origins makes any suggestion of a movement highly questionable: there were no manifestos, no proclamations that circulated across all these origin-sites. Instead, the use and embrace of glitches appears to have happened more or less simultaneously, as a result of the faults and failures of digital technology in the 1990s, especially the vagaries and interruptions common to dial-up internet access and the slow speeds of download that would often result in partial and damaged files. The embrace of glitch by this initial collection of artists (whose work from 2003 and earlier was collected in the Glitch: Designing Imperfection book) was highly dispersed geographically and aesthetically, even if they shared formal similarities because of the technologies involved.




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