Libre Graphics Magazine 2.1 – Localisation/Internationalization

I’m happy to announce that I’ll have a regular column in volume two of Libre Graphics magazine, starting with the first issue, Localisation/Internationalization

Libre Graphics Magazine 2.1

This February, Libre Graphics Magazine has reached a major milestone. We have published and shipped issue 2.1, the first number in our second volume. Titled “Localization/Internationalisation,” this issue explores the unique problems of non-latin type, the hyper-localisation of custom clothing patterns and international visual languages, among other topics.

Launched at FOSDEM, this issue marks the beginning of our second volume of publication, and heralds our move towards an increasingly critical slant. Exploring not just how Free/Libre Open Source Software can be used to create high quality art and design, in volume 2, we see a growing emphasis on the cultural and social issues around F/LOSS and Free Culture. With 2.1, we discuss issues of regionality. We are currently seeking submissions for 2.2, “Gendering F/LOSS,” which will revolve around gendered identity and work in F/LOSS and Free Culture.

We invite both potential readers and submittors to download, view, write, pull, branch and otherwise engage. We hope, in the coming year and with the help of a growing community, to further push the work of F/LOSS art, design and discussion.

The Transnational Glitch

My first column focuses on the international language of glitch and digital art.

Libre Graphics Magazine 2.1 - The Transnational Glitch

Here’s an excerpt:

American English is the common language of computing and the internet. That’s quite unfortunate when there are so many talented non-English speakers building our websites and shaping our digital future. That potential aside, one only has to look at the programming languages themselves and even small things like web addresses to see a bias to- wards English. Functions in popular programming languages are derived from English and, while websites that are not in English exist, their urls are always in English, with only the domain extension (.fr, .pt, .es, .cn, etc.) available to give the website a sense of cultural identity.

Libre Graphics magazine is free to download from their website or can be purchased – which I recommend – for $12 CAD plus postage.

About Libre Graphics magazine

Libre Graphics magazine (ISSN 1925-1416) is a print publication devoted to showcasing and promoting work created with Free/Libre Open Source Software. Since 2010, we have been publishing work about or including artistic practices which integrate Free, Libre and Open software, standards, culture, methods and licenses.


AlphabeNt: Experiments from A–Z

AlphabeNt, the book which I wrote the foreword for and spoke briefly about at GLI.TC/H 2112, is out now for either $30AUD or $70AUD (special edition)

AlphabeNt: Experiments from A–Z presents the 26 characters of the Latin alphabet as you haven’t seen them before: broken, distorted and aesthetically corrupted using digitally destructive techniques not usually found in the designers handbook. Co-authors Drew Taylor and Daniel Purvis created the characters using audio editing software such as Audacity, using standard text editors, by overloading flatbed document scanners, shaking iPhones and kicking computer tables.

Glitch art, and offshoot ‘databending’, is not unusual and is often featured in modern design. However, AlphabeNt presents one of the first professionally published glitch art books specifically designed to take use of glitch techniques in conjunction with the best modern digital printers and specialist paper stocks.





Paper sponsor, K.W.Doggett Fine Papers, provided K.W.Doggett Curious Metallics Digital – Ice Gold 300gsm stock for the printing of the cover and a set of 26 cards featuring the characters from the book. Printed by Kwik Kopy Norwood using an advanced HP Indigo digital printer, the characters from the book are brought to life through the combination of ink, metallic paper and are provided depth as they shimmer under light. This book demonstrates the power and flexibility of digital print techniques paired with the correct paper stock.

Says Daniel Purvis, founder of Adelaide-based publishing house Stolen Projects and co-author of AlphabeNt: Experiments from A–Z:

I’m extremely excited to present this collection of corrupted digital characters. It has always been the intent of Drew and I to print our digital experiments for two reasons. First, to give legitimacy to the digitally corrupt artwork we’ve created, which is so often overlooked on the electronic screens. And second, to demonstrate the power and weight of print in an age that relies so heavily on digital techniques.

AlphabeNt: Experiments from A–Z is available as a standalone book for $30AUD, featuring foreword by British glitch aficionado Antonio Roberts of, introduction by Daniel Purvis and Drew Taylor, and process description accompanying each of the characters.

A Special Edition of AlphabeNt: Experiments from A–Z, extremely limited to only 26 copies, is also available for $70AUD. The Special Edition features the full set of 26 cards, the AlphabeNt: Experiments from A–Z book, packaged in a special handmade box custom designed by Adelaide-based Chasdor Bindery.

Books will be available for purchase at launch and via Stolen Projects website as of Tuesday 26 February.

A special launch video has also been created by British glitch artist Antonio Roberts. Roberts remixes the entire set of 26 AlphabeNt characters produced by Drew Taylor and Daniel Purvis into a 1 minute 18 second animation backed by the music of Australian glitch musician Ten Thousand Free Men & Their Families (

Libre Graphics Research Unit article on

Last month I attended the Co-Position meeting in Brussels of the Libre Graphics Research Unit. I’ve already talked about one of the work sessions in a bit of depth. Today I was alerted that an article I wrote for Furtherfield that gives an overview of the meeting went live!

Libre Graphics Research Unit on Furtherfield

Click to view the article

How can designers and programmers work more harmoniously? How can the tools being created better meet the needs of users? There is a need for designers to have a greater role in the production of the tools that they use, aside from just reporting bugs, requesting features or designing logos for open source projects.

Head over to further field to read the whole article.

Here’s some of my favourite photos from the meeting from myself and Tom Lechner

The Libre Graphics Research Unit

Almost all of the LGRU attendees

LGRU Day 4 - Prototypes

At the roundtable discussion (there was no table to speak of)

Preparing the round table

Preparing the roundtable discussion

LGRU Day 3 - Shared Vocabularies

Toonloop performance by Alexandre Quessy

More can be seen on the LGRU Flickr tag

For the Spanish amongst us there’s two more articles about the Co-Position meeting

Notes on Notes on Glitch

Hugh S. Manon and Daniel Temkin recently published a great paper on glitch art called “Notes on Glitch“. It reads more like a collection of thoughts than one concise paper, but it’s still an awesome read.

Glitch Safari (from myself and noteNdo) and Dataface both receive a mention in the gallery, along with other awesome works.

Out of all of the notes there were a couple of points that stood out to me, which I’d like to add my own thoughts to.

24. At the same time, because glitch artists may optionally “save a copy” before making alterations, there is something disturbingly low-stakes about any particular attempt at glitching. One wishes this were not so, since the appearance of glitch is highly untame. Driven as it is by limitations of all sorts, many of the most agitating examples of Modernist art—works which, in Susan Sontag’s terms, “overstrain” the medium7—would never have existed with an undo button at their creators’ disposal. Indeed the art historian of the future will recognize the rise of unlimited, one-click “undo” as being on par with the most major technological and phenomenological changes in the history of representation.

At GLI.TC/H 2010 Riley Harmon introduced me to the game lose/lose from Zach Gage. In this game destroying an alien results in a random file being deleted from your computer.

lose/lose from zach gage on Vimeo.

Insectoid recording session

My intention with this shot was to document the day accurately but instead I got a glitched photograph (the error occurred within the camera). Luckily, I received a positive response from AAS and others, so I decided to keep it. Had the photo been of more importance – for example, a picture of a wedding – then greater emphasis would be placed on producing clear, error-free photographs, and there would be greater disappointment and distress if any errors did occur.

So, intention comes into it quite a bit…

49. Glitch has embraced the open-source mentality of sharing knowledge, which is rooted in the DIY tradition of punk. When a glitch artist refuses to reveal how work was made, it not only raises a question of whether it is “really” glitch—as opposed to a Photoshopped simulation—but also whether the artist is selfishly hiding their technique in a refusal to contribute to the collective knowledge. This all reflects an anxiety over authenticity and the underlying politics of glitch—something not strictly defined, but which favors cooperation and community over the proprietary motivations of any individual auteur.

My practice is deeply rooted in open source software and collaborative practices. As such I always endeavour to share the source-code to all of my work. This doesn’t always happen immediately, but I eventually often write a tutorial, explain the process behind the artwork, or package the code that created the artwork into something reusable. As a result, I don’t look favourably upon (glitch) artists that are very secretive about their methods.

With that said, I do not want to become a help-desk for those wanting to do glitch art, which unfortunately has happened a lot in the past. Circuit bending and glitch art are very much about discovery, and I feel that holding someone’s hand and taking them through the A-Z of glitch wont result in an artist discovering their own style or reasons for doing glitch art. Tutorials that I write on my site aren’t meant to be a definitive guide on how to glitch, more of a starting point for the artist’s own personal discovery.

There’s more I could say about many of the other notes in that paper, but I’ll save that for discussions over dinner 😉