Surreal, dreamlike and often haunting, databending creates digital or analog image errors for artistic effect. An art form in which corrupted files are either created or mimicked in photographs, paintings, sculptures, video or even audio, databending finds beauty in technology gone awry. Ranging from colorful pillows to uncanny oil paintings inspired by security footage, here are 40+ works by 12 notable glitch artists.
Oil Paintings by Andy Denzler
Looking like stills from aging home movies on VHS, Andy Denzler’s uncanny oil paintings capture the feel of analog glitches so well you can almost hear the buzzing sound emanating from the television set when looking at them. Denzler fast-forwards or rewinds videotape and abruptly pauses it, and then paints the frozen frame, using smears and rough horizontal lines to achieve the effect.
Security Footage Paintings by Regina Parra
Low-resolution security footage is translated into hazy watercolor paintings in a collaboration between Kon Trubkovich and Regina Parra. With this series, Parra immortalizes moments on film which already have somewhat of an eerie feel, rendering them even more fascinating.
Glitch Videos by Rosa Menkman
Dutch filmmaker and artist Rosa Menkman is an authority on the glitch art genre, producing events and written works as well as a ‘glitch manifesto’ and experimental work of her own. In fact, she completed her master thesis on digital glitch in 2009. “Glitches are the uncanny, brutal structures that come to the surface during a break of the flow within a technology; they are the primal data-screams of the machine,” Menkman told DINCA in a 2010 interview. “Glitch art is a practice that studies and researches the vernacular of file formats in exploitative manners to deconstruct and create new, brutalist (audio)visual works. However, glitch artists often go beyond this formal approach; they realize that the glitch does not exists without human perception and therefore have a more inclusive approach to digital material.”
Glitch Textiles by Philip Stearns
Artist Philip Stearns describes his collection of woven and knit wall hangings and blankets “glitches in the cold, hard logic of digital circuits transformed into soft, warm textiles.” The designs were taken from short-circuited cameras and other ‘unorthodox’ digital techniques.
Distortion by Nicholas Ballesteros
“This technique of altering or appropriating images is not for a desired outcome other than showing the found material’s sheer ability to be bent,” says artist Nicholas Ballesteros of his ‘Distortion’ series. Ballesteros uses a scanner and found images to produce these effects.
Glitch Art Pillow Covers by Benjamin Berg
Display colorful video glitches around your house with this series of throw pillows by artist Benjamin Berg. Also producing work under the alias stAllio, Berg discovered glitching by running the contents of his hard drive through music software. “Glitch art is a dance on the edge of a failing system,” he says.
Analog Glitches by Rob Sheridan
Artist Rob Sheridan created a series of visuals for the band How to Destroy Angels’ Welcome Oblivion and An omen EP, saying “these images were created by disrupting signals through analog tape and display equipment, not with Photoshop effects.”