When technical flaws become art, Glitch Art

Digital defects and distortions caused by a crash disrupt the broadcasting: you are watching a movie and the images fade, you are working with the computer and suddenly messy lines appear on the screen.

When things don't go as planned our emotions stop us to see the potential of a new situation.

The definitions of Glitch Art

Glitch Art uses digital or analogue errors for aesthetic purposes, they might be intentional or not, the result is always original, captivating, inimitable.

This type of art received wide appreciation in the '90s developing its expression in music, videogames and digital photography.

Glitch Art is also described as an "amazing sub-genre of graphic design". It's ridiculous to think about the circumstance in which it was born. The Flaws are its essence. "Glitch" means "error", "technical problem", "anomaly", something unpredictable because, in the electronic or IT profession it displays the end of a process, when the production is over and it's time to test the result.

When a glitch appears something "went wrong". The expectations are not fulfilled and that's why we like Glitch Art!

The Glitch Art Manifesto

One of the most original artists of Glitch Art is artist Rosa Menkman. She produced many videos and works that helped her to reach fame all over the world. Just to mention Vernacular of File Formats and Collapse of Pal, she is also the author of a Glitch Art Manifesto.

Her art aspires to "subvert the order" through errors generated by the same system trying to fix the distortions caused by digital problems.

With her Manifesto, Rosa Menkman advises us to not fall for the false tale of unpredictable circumstances, encouraging us instead to be conscious of the limit and being able to observe it, transform it and reclaim it.

Section 8 of the Manifesto explains that. To understand the flaws it must be interrupted. The error turns into the obstacle that points out the existence of a way, even if it appears wrong.

The focus of this type of art lies in the possibility of the unpredictable, to pass the expectation and reach something new.


The art of confusion: the Glitch Art 

Glitch creates disorder. In front of the PC or TV screen, we held our breath waiting for them to return working. We are blown away by the unknown. The unexpected can be scary.

But Glitch Art brings with it two important changes:

  1. Recreate the chaos

To produce the Glitch Art you need to know the systems that generate it. You need to know to code, modifying small pieces of data to create the Glitches. It requires the consciousness of the value of confusion to demonstrate that beauty often comes from the unexpected.

  1. Indulge in chaos 

Human beings believe they can control any circumstances. 

Glitch Art reveals the chaos/order relation revealing its positive side, an unpredictable and uncontrollable dimension.


We used to expect completion in everything but we forget it doesn't exist.

Once accepted, we learn to perceive creatively and mistakes become an opportunity

Glitch Art exploits the potential of the errors to go beyond flaws and make it a new opportunity for new ways of seeing things, living them and communicating them.

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