For the What is Your Glitch? videos I wanted to build up on some of the extensive work that has already gone into the documentation, deconstruction and glitching of file formats. Rosa Menkman has already done a great job of documenting some of the more well-known file format glitches in the Vernacular of File Formats, which I recommend you all read. For this exercise I wanted to explore some of the more obscure file formats. Using open source software and Ubuntu has given me access to a wealth of programs that can still generate obscure file formats, such as pcx, pix and sgi. Through these experiments I also found inconsistencies in the way that different programs generate files, which is evident through my decision to use GIMP to convert files rather than Imagemagick in some of the scripts. Enough chit-chat, download the scripts!
Code hosted on GitHub
The method of glitching used in most of the scripts is the much-documented find and replace method. If you take a look in the scripts – and I encourage you to do so – you can change the characters that are being searched for and replaced. I’ve simply chosen characters that are sure to get results and are less likely to completely destroy the file.
Each script has its own set of dependencies, but to ensure you can run each one you’ll need the following:
GIMP – I use 2.71 beta available for Ubuntu from this ppa. Other versions remain untested
1. Make the file executable: In a terminal type chmod+x [name of script] (e.g. what_glitch_webp.sh)
2. Run ./what_glitch_webp.sh in a terminal window
3. Drop a video file into terminal window and press Enter
4. Get a cup of tea
The scripts have only been tested on Ubuntu 10.10. If you are able to get them working with other operating systems please feel free to share your techniques
These scripts seem to work best with avi video files that are 24 or 25 frames per second. Files that are 30 frames per second get out of sync with the audio
Make sure the name of the directory containing the video to glitch doesn’t contain spaces e.g. “untitled_folder” instead of “untitled folder”
The video needs audio order for this script to work. If you know what you’re doing you can edit parts of this script for it to work on files that have no audio
As these scripts processes each frame of a video file it will take a very long time to complete. It is recommended for use only on small video clips!
These scripts by no means even begin to cover all of the image file formats available. There were a few formats that were not as easy to batch-process or were simply too large to process, such as xpm and xbm. For these you’ll have to do it manually or explore other ways of batch processing. They’re also not the most efficient of scripts. Some way into processing 400 video frames the script would slow down a lot. I welcome any bug fixes or suggestions on fixing this 😉
There’s still plenty of undiscovered glitches out there in the wild just waiting to be hunted down and exploited. I encourage anyone, everyone and their mother to pick from this long, but by no means complete list of image file formats and to find a way to glitch them!
On 8th April I took a self-prescribed zine making day. Ever since the Gallery Of Owls meetup last year I’ve been increasingly interested in zines as a means of communication and the DIY scene as a whole. After many failed ideas I finally settled on showing the journey of a pixel and how it can be mutated through different ways of manipulating it, specifically through glitch art.
What is presented is the simple manipulation of the cover image over twelve pages.
In my never-ending quest to explore glitch art off the screen, what then intrigued me was how I could print this. I then had the idea to print these images onto of printed material. In this way we see how glitches can alter our perception of already existing media. Does it add to or detract from the original intent or is it even noticeable?
To pay homage to zine culture I’ve use pages from some of the zines that I’ve collected over the years as well as found papers that have been clogging up my inbox.
The zines are now for sale. Contact me for more information!
This marks somewhat of a new shift for me as it’s the second time that I’ve taken glitch off the screen and into a more physical form. I do like that when I sent the images to print I received this e-mail:
Thank you for our order from —.
Just wanted to double check your artwork – the five files we’ve got are different colours of large pixel-style blocks, is this correct? Just wanted to ensure the files have come through to us correctly.
I’m looking at setting up an online shop for people to buy the rest of the badges and perhaps other glitchy stuff.
You may remember from my earlier blog post that I’ve been working on a databent typeface. It was mentioned a fair while back now, but I have been doing bits of work on it every now and then. Here’s a bit of my progress so far:
Ass you can see some of the characters are more recognisable than others. In fact, looking at it again I can’t really remember what some of them were. As I’m planning on having most characters mapped out, in upper and lower case, progress will be a bit slow, so I’ll aim for April for a completed font.
He asked for something red, so I took a few birthday pictures and did the equivalent of putting them through a shredder!
It seems recently that there’s been a bit of a backlash against databending. Reading some of the threads/comments over at 8bitcollective.com suggests that people are getting tired of people posting everything that they’ve processed through Audacity without much though to its artistic content. I tend to agree, so I thought I’d do something more with the output of the bends in order to make these ones. I took them through GIMP and edited them a bit, made them seamless for tiling and changed the colours slightly.
I was speaking with Jon earlier about my work and he’s noted that a lot of it has been text based and then asked if I was working towards making a typeface in the same style. I must admit, my recent text based work has mostly been an excuse to use the awesome Kawoszeh typeface, but I feel he’s onto something.
Whilst I’m quite far from a complete typeface I’ve been doing a few experiments:
Believe it or not that is the letter A glitched in the same way (replaced 9 with 15), but under different conditions. The reason for the above experiment is wanting to find the best environment in which to make the typeface. For example, the more nodes you have on a shape the more variance you get. The type of nodes that you have also has a major effect.
I’m also thinking about what typeface to use as a base. Being mostly Brummie I’m drawn towards hacking Open Baskerville although using just Arial Black provided some good results, as can be seen in my short glitch animation
I’ll have something produced next year and, should I finally do some coding, actually have a script to databend for me and make the whole process a bit more random!