Iman Moradi. Ant Scott, Joe Gilmore, Christopher Murphy – Glitch: Designing Imperfection

Iman Moradi. Ant Scott

Mark Batty Publisher, ISBN 978-0979966668, USA, 2009, English
Error, and even more importantly, its perception and visual beauty are at the heart of the “glitch art” movement. Be it ethereal, as with a few seconds of uncertainty in the graphic rendering, or fixed, as a more or less stable bug in a file, the glitch is a recurrent, yet peripheral visual component. This is the first book dedicated to a growing aesthetic movement that visually explores what has been substantially experimented on in electronic music. It’s a vast collection assembled by two experts in this field, Iman Moradi and Ant Scott (, who have been helped by Joe Gilmore and Christopher Murphy. It took four years to make it and it collects a compelling abstract aesthetic where the loss of information, the frozen uncertainty, the ironic revenge of the machine (with the inscrutable human error behind) are conjuring the creation of a fragile beauty. The book hosts a selection from the nine-hundred submissions (sporting a numerical system for making a chronological index of the contributors that reminds of the filenames of error generated files), and it constitutes a compendium of main sub-genres and inspired works (although the very clean and glossy design somehow ironically contrasts with the nature of the content). Hated or fetishized, the glitch is dealing with abstraction, staticity and surprise, inducing different, but vivid feelings in the user. And even if a deeper theoretical and technical analysis would have made the book a definitive anthology, it still is an unmissable one.