If you have ever experienced that moment of despair after forgetting your next point of conversation then you will easily understand the concept of Glitch art. Imagine the expression on your face as you tried to remember what you had meant to say and the noises you had made as you tried to reclaim that one lost thought. This scenario is very much a humanized equivalent to the technological glitch – the kind one might have experienced while playing a scratched DVD – nonetheless, these instances rate highly on our most frequent everyday frustrations. How can we expect technology to be anything but constantly inadequate as long as we feel the same way about ourselves. It is we, after all, who have the need for such technology. The concept of the glitch exists in a temporal space somewhere between the past and the future, between inadequacy and development, between us and technology.
Digital Disruptions, at the Queensland Centre of Photography, is Vanessa Bertagnole’s most recent photography exhibition unveilling a series of
images all too familiar in the modern world, presenting what seems to be a materialization of the modern day glitch. At once the series of nine images presents nothing and also represents everything; the artworks convey a sort of visual noise where colour meets pixilated data.
For Bertagnole’s images, the glitch is humanized through a systematic process involving the slow streaming of film footage to a computer and its projection within a dark room, her photographic documentation then proceeds. All of the “digital disruptions” have been documented by virtue of defective imagery. Distruption #9 is featured as the centre piece of the series. Its image is mirrored and thus widened, voicing its data with duality and connecting each work through their dissimilarities.
This series is not aesthetically disconnected to Bertagnole’s previous series Reflections on Memory: Ongoing Projectwhich exposed a variety of occurrences where natural or physical matter caused refractions of light and imagery, exposing the glitches of nature and sight. Bertagnole’s transition of focus from natural to technological glitches exemplifies our modern-day relationship with technology by supplying an aesthetic of frustration, one that merely reflects our own imperfections.
It is with this original yet familiar aesthetic that Bertagnole’s exhibition extends our thoughts towards technology’s intersection with everyday life. For those with an eye for disruption this is one definitely worth experiencing for yourself.
By Eloise Breskvar
Image: Vanessa Bertagnole, Disruption #9. Courtesy of the artist.