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2013 brought with it many surprises but was mostly a time for me to reflect on my practice and refine my skills. Unlike the previous year summaries I won’t give a massive list of everything that I’ve done – lest I still be writing this article at 23:59 on December 31st – just a couple of selections from the highlights from each month.

January

Nothing, as usual, happend in January

February

AlphabeNt, the book that I presented at GLI.TC/H 2112, finally got its release. The book, by Australian Authors Daniel Purvis and Drew Taylor, remixes the alphabet using glitch art aesthetics. Go buy it! I made a video to celebrate the occasion.

In addition to co-directing the rehang of the FRAME_birmingham exhibition, February also saw the release of Lbire Graphics Magazine 2.1, for which I am now a contributor. Various technical issues have prevented the next release from coming out, but in the meantime go read the current issue, Localisation/Internationalization.

More February news.

March

The main event for this month was Dirty New Media. Since there was no GLI.TC/H 2013 this event was the only chance to bring together many of those from the digital arts, new media and glitch art world.

Being situated within the Barber Institute of Fine Arts presented many interesting opportunities and challenges. They don’t seem so keen on letting me drill holes into the walls 😉 regardless, it was great to challenge the space and situate broken Kindles next to a collection of artworks dating back to the 1500s!

More March news.

April

Another slow month which saw me included in the Art + Copyright online exhibition from Interartive.

adobe_ca dell_ca nvidia_ca

android_ca hp_ca starbucks_ca

I exhibited some gifs from Copyright Atrophy, which will launch soon. Honest.

More April news.

May

For awhile I have/had felt that I didn’t understand the tools that I was using or how to develop new ones, so in May I took a break from producing artwork. My Github account finally saw some usage and, in general, a lot of coding skills improved! w00t!

I also released this animation which I had been working on sporadically since 2008. Never again.

More May news.

June

The highlight for June was the opening of the Glitch Moment/ums exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery in London, for which I performed at the opening event.

Ever since I graduated from my undergraduate studies I’ve been admiring the work of Furtherfield from afar, so to be included in one of their exhibitions was a highlight of my artistic career! Here’s a little video from the exhibition:

More June news.

July

I took part in a rather special edition of Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB), which saw the usual barrage of artists projected against a backdrop of music from Mark Ronson. At times I couldn’t tell if the projections were supporting the music or vice versa, but I had a good time regardless.

July also saw the release of Multimedia Programming with Pure Data, for which I was a technical reviewer. If you don’t know anything about Pure Data already then I’d recommend getting it!

I also discovered the joys of analogue video hardware.

More July news.

August

An old friend of mine, Gabriella Gardosi, was in the area so we decided to collaborate on some artwork. The combination of noisy digital shapes and organic shapes seemed to work well!

Later that month I also unveiled my reworking of Variations on a theme by Casey & Finch. The original work by Erik Bünger used the aesthetic of a skipping scratched CD as a composition method. I aimed to replicated this using scripts and coding.

More August news.

September

For the Lumiere screenings I did a remix/remake of the Dark, Eerie and Manic video that myself and Alex Juno made earlier in the year.

The highlight for September was definitely doing visuals at SuperByte Festival! Everthing about it – the artists, the musicians, the organisers, the location, the free sweets – was completely awesome 🙂

Photo by Jon Blenky

Photo by Jon Blenky

Above all, I liked being surrounded by a bunch of my peers and friends, and making many more new ones. Even if I don’t do visuals for it next year I’ll still be attending.

More September news.

October

In addition to running in a half-marathon and giving a lecture in internet cultures at Fierce Festival, I was in Arles again for databit.me #3.

This year I had a “guest” spot as a performer at the closing party (last year I was artist in residence there). It was great to meet noteNdo for the first time in three years and also to finally perform with Axel Debeul on the Magnetophon piece.

noteNdo did a great writeup of the event.

More October news.

November

Shortly after getting back from Arles I was off again to Barcelona! I perfomed with Gabriella Gardosi and Kerian Lao as Feedback Symphony at Molécula/The Wrong Biennale. We were joined by musicans Diego Lara, Evgeni Krane and Hugh Tetley.

It was fun again to explore combining two different practices and also great to visit a new city! Spain’s nice 🙂

At the end of the month I curated BYOB Birmingham 2013, my final show of the year, with assitance of the awesome Pete Ashton.

Photo by Katja Ogrin

Photo by Katja Ogrin

We had more projectors than last time and the music reached 11 on the awesome scale. I’m just thankful none of the equipment blew up.

More November news.

December

December is usually a very quiet month, but not this time! I performed at the 7 Days of Sound Festival, took part in a group exhibition in London and then did a decidedly different performance at Come Heavy Sleep with Kindle Theatre.

Photo by Jonathon Blackford

Photo by Jonathon Blackford

This production, which is loosely based around Othello, saw me create my usual style of noisy visuals but it a more controlled way. I also got to stand on a two-metre high plinth in the middle of the stage :-/ Overall, though, it was a very enjoyable challenge for me and great to apply my working style in different areas.

More Decembere news.

And so, that’s it for the year!

I have no definite goals for 2014, but I do hope to do more explorations into the poltical side of my artwork. As many of you will know, I exclusively use Ubuntu Linux and open source software for my work and have done for many years. This isn’t accidental, and I do so that others will be more easily able to access my work and the processes behind it. This area is something I want to focus on more in the future.

See you next year x

BYOB Birmingham 2013

BYOB Birmingham 2013 happened on Friday 29th November and was just as awesome as the last one, if not moreso!

Photo by Katja Ogrin

Photo by Katja Ogrin

Photo by Pete Ashton

Photo by Pete Ashton

Photo by Soraya Fatha

Photo by Soraya Fatha

Photo by Katja Ogrin

Photo by Katja Ogrin

In addition to the high quality of the work, I was very impressed by the variety of beamers on show. To go alongside the standard digital projector there were DIY projectors (from Sellotape Cinema), overhead projectors, lasers and even a couple of slide projectors. Plenty of photos and a couple of videos can be found on Tumblr or on Flickr.

Thanks again to all of the artists that took part, Pete Ashton for being a great assistant and Vivid Projects for believing in the decidedly different stuff that I do.

I’ve been part of, in one capacity or another, four BYOBs this year so I think I’ll give it a bit of a break, but keep an eye out for other similar events! Maybe subscribe to my mailing list (once I set it up).

Bring Your Own Beamer Birmingham 2013, 29th November

The full lineup for Bring Your Own Beamer Birmingham 2013 has just been announced. This year sees some old favourites return as well as lots of new faces from across the UK. Details below:

FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER | 7PM – LATE

Revolution 33 // Bring Your Own Beamer

Bring Your Own Beamer Birmingham 2013

Vivid Projects’ acclaimed 33 REVOLUTIONS programme concludes this winter with Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB), a one-night celebration of the projected image. Armed with projectors, artists will descend on Vivid Projects’ space in Digbeth to create a collective Revolution #33 through a giant audio-visual environment. Join us for the finale and raise a glass to the revolution – viva the beamer!

Exhibiting artists

Antonio Roberts, Ashley James Brown, Ben Waddington, Chris Plant, chromatouch, DACHHU VISUALS, Daniel Salisbury, Dan Tombs, David Checkley, Dom Breadmore, faisfx, George Benson, Mark Murph, Michael Lightborne, Natalie O’Keeffe, Pete Ashton, Roxie Collins, Sam Alexander Mattacott, Sebastian Lenton, Sellotape Cinema, Soraya Fatha, Tim Neath, Vlad C Costache, Walter Newton

Music

Alex Juno, Swoomptheeng DJs, Pete Ashton

Installations

Anna Horton

Links

BYOB Birmingham
Vivid Projects
Facebook event
Full-sized poster

Background

Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB) is an international series of one-night exhibitions inviting artists, armed with films and projectors, to convene and explore the art of projection in an immersive environment of moving light, sound and performance. BYOB is an idea originally conceived by Berlin-based artist Rafael Rozendaal and BYOB events have been held in over 40 international cities.

Bring Your Own Beamer Birmingham 2013

databit.me #3, 2nd November 2013

databit.me #3, the awesome festival in Arles, France that I took part in last year, started again on 23rd October. I’ll be there on 31st October for a small guest performance at the party on 2nd November.

databit.me #3

Myself and Axel Debeul will be creating a lot of funk, soul, noise and mess by utilising almost anything that makes any sound. If you happen to be in Arles you should check it out! And if you’re not in Arles already, go visit! It’s a beautiful place.

BYOB Leicester 2013

On Saturday 12th October I’ll be in my home town of Leicester once again for the second BYOB Leicester.

6

It’s in Leicester

 

This year’s event will have workshops in VDMX, Arduino and other things from 12pm from the likes of Minuek, Sean Clark and Tony Coleman, with the main event kicking off from around 6pm or 8pm. I’ll just be showing various work. Perhaps you can still bring your own beamer if you ask them 😉 More info on the Facebooks and Tumblrs.

Fierce Festival 2013

This year’s Fierce Festival starts on 4th October and I’ll be taking part in two ways:

Live Art in 2113

From 11ish on October 4th I’ll be taking part in a discussion at the mac where we give our thoughts on what we think live art will be like in 2113

Gif Party!

A gathering exploring the future and live art’s relationship to chance across various spheres in our lives as part of 2113, the Live Art UK Associated Gathering 2013. The public part of this day will involve self-organised clusters of conversations picking up on themes explored earlier in the day.

I’ll be focusing on internet culture, whatever the heck that means!

Get your FREE tickets for this event here.

Paper Stages

The previously mentioned Paper Stages book will be making its Birmingham launch as part of Fierce Festival.

Paper Stages is a project which saw its first edition launched as part of the Forest Fringe in 2012, and has two elements. One is the physical artefact, a book of texts and instructions written to inspire the public into performing their own works without the need for a clearly defined physical space.

This nationwide edition of the book has invited contributions from a selection of artists including Birmingham based artists Code Lee Barbour and Antonio Roberts.

The Guardian also wrote a nice bit about the book on their website.

Pick up your FREE copy of the book from STRYX throughout the festival. Also, take an old camera 😉

Young Rewired Art

From 5th – 11th August I was a mentor for Young Rewired Art, which is a newly devised offshoot project from the same people that run the Young Rewired State Festival of Code. The project, which ran alongside the main festival, had very similar aims in the way that it explored the potential of digital technology:

[Young Rewired Art] will explore how digital media can influence our next generation of musicians, visual artists, dancers, producers & actors etc and enable young people to showcase and develop their creative practice online. It would also enable young people to use technology creatively and explore the relationship it has to mainstream arts and culture.

To me, this represented a chance to introduce young minds to the never-ending pain everlasting joy of glitch art, glitch aesthetics and generally making programs and hardware do things they weren’t designed to do!

The week of activities was split between sessions led by myself and Nikki Pugh with a presentation/demonstration at the weekend. I used my first session to introduce the group to exactly what glitch art is, and to a wider extent how you can make art with code. Most of the group – which consisted of people from creative backgrounds such as graphic design, photography and performance poetry – hadn’t knowingly encountered glitch art before and hadn’t put much thought into using error-driven techniques as part of their practice. In my first session with them I set to change that!

Young Rewired Art

This is other photos by Nikki Pugh

 

I wouldn’t be too far-fetched in saying that a lot of glitch art centers around film and animation, something you only have to look through tumblr too see. However, the concepts of glitch art, namely using error as a means of producing art, extend beyond film and animation and can move into writing, performance, architecture and just about any other field!

Rhet and Link

One of the videos I showed the group was one of the Caption Fail videos from Rhet and Link. In these videos they exploit the failings of YouTube’s automatic caption feature and produce a comedy sketch that doesn’t really make much sense but is at least quite entertaining!

Translation Party

yra_translation_party

The other text-based glitch-alike piece I showed was the Translation Party website. This “service” recursively translates a phrase from English to Japanese and back again until it finds an equilibrium where both translations mean the same thing. By doing this it reveals that not even computers can perfectly translate a phrase from one language to another, perhaps because it doesn’t take into account the meaning and intent of the phrase, just the words themselves.

This, of course, isn’t something unique to computer-driven translations. Some phrases and colloquialisms do not translate between languages or even locations, and some words have no equivalents in other languages. Perhaps this is a human communication glitch?

Glitch in Popular Culture

I also showed the group glitch art’s influence on popular culture. It could be argued that glitch art hasn’t reached the mainstream media yet. I don’t necessarily believe that to be true, and it’s a topic which has been discussed at length elsewhere. Regardless of this, there have been many high-profile uses of glitch art over the years. Rosa Menkman has already created a brilliant playlist of Glitches in Popular Culture, which hopefully demonstrates that it is something that has mainstream appeal (if that’s what you’re aiming for!)

Tutorials

With the demonstrations and presentations now complete the group set out to use these newly acquired skills to create, well, something! I taught the group how to glitch jpg and bmp files using a combination of a text editor (Notepad++) and GIMP, and then how to databend images files using Audacity.

Young Rewired Art

Young Rewired Art

Young Rewired Art

I would’ve progressed onto the basics of glitch videos but it’s a very lengthy topic and can get messy when you take into account the variables such as codecs, containers and operating systems. For anyone beginning video glitching I highly recommend the Glitch Codec Tutorial by Nick Briz and the Datamosh tutorials by Bob Weisz.

Presentations

The rest of the week was spent producing a finished piece to be presented in some way or another at the main Festival of Code on the weekend. They used the skills learnt from myself and Nikki to produce a video and installation piece that focussed on their experiences of digital technology affecting their lives.

Young Rewired Art

Young Rewired Art

Videos of the final pieces have yet to be uploaded – and I’ll update this post when they are- butOne of the final pieces is below. Also do check out the main Young Rewired Art tumblr blog for detailed thoughts from all of the participants, including this one from Sophie Lloyd

As a young adult in the 21st century I consider myself rather prolific with technology. I can navigate Microsoft word these days without crying or throwing my laptop at the wall. However I always assumed that should I attempt any kind of hacking or data corruption myself, it would be like watching my Mum trying to manoeuvre her Facebook account. Well not anymore! Taking part in Young Rewired ART has changed my opinion on the subject. I have discovered the exciting prospects of computer hacking, and what it could mean for the future of my identity as an artist.

Same again next year?

SuperByte 2013

SuperByte 2013

My only confirmed gig of this year will be to provide visuals at SuperByte Festival on 13th and 14th September. Even though the festival is months away, the line-up already includes many great chiptune/8-Bit Sabrepulse, Ultrasyd and 8GB!

The first SuperByte took place in September 2012, and I was there to perform with Freecode:

To make the festival happen this year, the organisers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £2000. With 26 days to go, there’s only £953 to go! Go spend your money!

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2013