Glitch Glitch Glitch Art

A brief recap of glitch art and 9 artists to watch…



Originally published at on May 17, 2023.

“Glitch” refers both to unintended consequences and also to effects deliberately designed to make an audience question whether or not the software is working as intended. I think it will also be helpful to consider the glitch in terms of three separate but related forms: 1) glitch as discovery, 2) glitch as aesthetic, and 3) glitch as performance.

Alex Pieschel in Glitches: A kind of history (2014)

Ah, yes, the ancient art of manipulating defects. It’s a practice that has been embraced by artistic visionaries throughout history, long before the advent of modern technology such as video games, television, or the digital wonders of xCopy and Deslucrece. Indeed, some suggest that the movement of cubism, with its bold experimentation and avant-garde approach, served as a major source of inspiration for the glitch art we see today.

The appreciation of visual glitches goes much back much further than the
1980’s — 90’s and the ‘home computer’ retro aesthetic imagery that is often
associated with that time.

In visual investigations, a wealth of Glitch-alike imagery was found and the
notion of the accident in art spanning across decades of the use and misuse of
media in artistic practice. I would like to draw attention to the cubist movement.
While their works are not commonly thought of as ‘glitches’ per se, I believe that
they were possibly influential in the way we can appreciate a fragmented style
being applied to a digital image today

The Evolution of Glitch Art from Origin to Present, Dr. Diaa EL din Tantawy, Dr. Amr EL Halaby

“Man at the Café” by Juan Gris. Oil on canvas. Philadelphia Museum of Art (1912)
“Man at the Café” by Juan Gris. Oil on canvas. Philadelphia Museum of Art (1912)

“Man at the Café” by Juan Gris. Oil on canvas. Philadelphia Museum of Art (1912)

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Blockchain art and NFTs offer a natural platform for distributing such art, filling a commercial void that previously existed for this type of creation (this argument can also be applied to other forms of digital art).