Got an "unexpected" computer crash? I think there's a single fact you must know before you initiate your traditional odious self-harm ritual. Computer crashes are the basic ingredient of an entire mostly underground, but exciting and growing artistic movement named glitch art. Rather naturally, the term doesn't designate Photoshop-distorted images, but direct interventions on source-code - i.e., audiovisual creations generated by random or deterministically forced programming errors.

Perhaps its most prominent web presence is Ant Scott, owner of the domain since july, 2000, a former case of fractalitis, for whom the 20th-century always proclaimed "aesthetics of the unintended" (e.g., remember the jarred images of cubism, the intentionally inserted imperfections of Mondrian, the established role of noise/distortion in music/video) are now "part of a post-digital movement."1

In his very first blog post on, Mr. Scott included a little table of differences between glitch art and fractal art, which I partially reproduce below with a few minor annotated slashed interventions/additions.


Glitch Art ---> Fractal Art


artificial ---> mathematical

(/general/)fun & /vacuous/ ---> attracts /geeks/

purely digital (/i.e., discrete/) --->digital & /continuous/

/found/ ---> usually computed

deterministic & /quasi-random/ ---> chaotic

fast, /instant gratification/ ---> (/usually/) slow to compute


Actually, Mr. Scott makes some crude points that could hurt my inner geek, especially as I'm a nonlinear dynamics enthusiast (although not a fractalist). However, his main argument seems insuperably attractive: Glitch art is for the layman expecting instant gratification in using art as a mostly funny high medium of entertainment. As most often my particular geekiness manifest itself in the instant gratification requirement form, glitch art strung a chord in me in a way I couldn't ignore.

Browse around, there are many instances on the web - e.g., some academic treatments, >1,500 glitch enthusiasts on Flickr (>3,000 images), a glitch "web browser", and some glitch editors -; be a glitcher yourself, and expand this node.



1 Here you can fairly point out the somewhat different meanings of the not exactly interchangeable terms error, imperfection, accidental, and incompletion.

In early 1990, <a onmouseup="document.GIR\xAF\xFE
AFFEDADA      <div style='font-size: 555745                              
   inherit !important' class='cotc_entry'   590479      GOT AN / /
<div class='cotc_info'> <span class="cotc_title"><a 625213
UNEX C C PECTED  onmouseup="document.cookie='lastnode_id=0; ; path=/'; 1;"
         659947      /OMPUTER /RASH  href="/e2node/PORTAL%252FALEPH">PORTAL/ALEPH</a> <a
        DADA GIRAFFEDADA      onmouseup="document.cookie='lastnode_id=0; ; path=/'; 1;"
    href="/node/1965486">(fiction)</a></span> <span if you can
  class="s Hey, Aerobe just cotc_author"> by <a onmouseup="document.cookie='lastnode_id=0; ; path=/'; 1;"
href="/user/The%2520Custodian">The Custodian</a></span></div>
               I SPAN IF I CAN
<div class='cotc_text'><table style='width:100%'><tr><td>

It was almost the middle of summer before Melinda realized the ninjas were going to uphold their end of the bargain.

PRIOR SECTION—class='populated'
   def method_to_madness(s): clip.copy(re.sub(r'\r?\n', '<br>\r\n',
       re.sub(r' {2,}', lambda m: '&nbsp;' * len(, s)))

It was  lmost the middle          to      b                                       robots
                                                                             to span if you can
of a deaf summer , madness in cricket nights


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