Glitches are the result of system malfunctions and occur for instance when you try to play a movie in a player that does not support the file format. However, most often glitches happen for no apparent reason and their look can never be completely predicted. That is part of their fascination, not least for an increasing number of artists. While trial-and-error experimentation allows artists to obtain results within a certain aesthetic spectrum, glitches are ultimately generated by the system itself and therefore always involve an element of chance defying artistic control. For Pink Bits Tracy Cornish has extracted all the visual and aural information, basically the original content of a file, so that only the glitches of abstract pink figures remain. Furthermore, she has used the sound files of each frame to produce a new soundscape. The ambience is gloomy and obscure. It is as if some unfamiliar entity had invaded the realm of the digital and were now – like a virus – disturbing the dream of digital perfection and our trust in systems. Yet it also produces its own beautiful, if not downright seductive audio-visual rhythm. But does this aesthetic quality or effect make it even gloomier? Does it suggest that the fascination with the malfunction of systems might be a subconscious death drive in our digital culture?
Image: Pinkbits by Tracy Cornish