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Home / Articles / Music / Music Features /  Glitch in the System

Glitch in the System

Where technology meets graphic art

August 22, 2012, 12:00 am

 Greetings! Art Director here with a dispatch from the world of graphic design. With some spiffy new SFR Arts Festival posters starting to go up pretty soon, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk a bit about glitch art.

Glitch art is the process of creating pieces of graphic design by altering the code of an already-created image. It’s a little strange, but as the process goes on, one can achieve beautifully random compositions that feel otherworldly. For instance, we start with the first image on the left: a photo of a pattern printed on transparency paper, bent, and then placed onto a light table. The resulting image is not altered. The second image was achieved by inputting the first image into the Mac OSX program Preview, saving it as an Adobe Photoshop file, and then opening the file in a text editor. The text editor reveals an abundance of seemingly random nonsense characters. By adding or subtracting from these characters (in this instance, inputting randomly selected text from Tess of the D’Urbervilles), the image begins to glitch. This image is then saved as a JPEG, where it is rotated, and then glitched again. The result is the third image. The application is fairly limited when viewing graphic design simply as a utilitarian communication of visual ideas, but as the start of a piece of abstract or postmodern design, it allows a level of chance and spontaneity to permeate a piece of design. This sort of integration of the analog and the digital is one of the hallmarks of the next generation of design.




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