YouGlitch, deliberate video failures


YouGlitch is a website created by Martial Geoffre-Rouland and Benjamin Gaulon, based on Corrupt, their web-based Glitch Art Software. Corrupt, built back in 2004 with Proce55ing, enables the corruption of image files through repetitive replacements that can lead to numerous corrupted versions. The process is simple and clear: after users download and install the software, they can use it with webcam videos or ones they have stored on their hard disk. A 10-second video and an animated GIF is saved locally and also automatically uploaded to the new website. YouGlitch is a user-generated collection of glitch creativity. It is based on re-using, recycling, creatively destroying and sharing. It is a collective glitch art project but on its own terms and in accordance with our social media reality. At first sight, YouGlitch doesn’t seem to present accidents or failures as part of a flow or circulation of images. It looks more like a tool for helping users demystify glitch art, opening it up to popularization. It appears as a user-generated aesthetization of interruption that proves (as Rosa Menkman wrote in her Glitch Studies Manifesto) that what is now a glitch is destined to become a fashion. But to my eyes, YouGlitch succeeds on deeper levels: it connects to the present while referring to the past. It correlates the digital with the analogue era by correlating YouTube channels with the TV. It raises questions regarding potentially deliberate failures in the stream of videos and the exercise of control. Could it be that YouGlitch allows for collective play with corruption while at the same time suggesting a form of sabotage? If glitch art can also constitute a form of subversion, couldn’t this project possibly also be about the formation of an anti-apparatus that is unreadable, profane, glitched, out of control?

Daphne Dragona