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January 25, 2012

Glitch camera effect

Filed under: doodles,flash,Webcam — Brandel Zachernuk @ 6:59 am

First, the app. To use it, turn on the webcam and start making funny faces at the camera. That’s it. Enjoy!

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Glitch is pretty cool, both as a musical and a visual aesthetic. I think it formed as a response to so much of our experience being mediated by digital technology. Without noticing, we’ve become extremely familiar with the idiosyncrasies of digital delivery, and developed a sensitivity to what happens when it goes wrong. Anyone who has Windows should try listening to “Welcome to Windows” to see if it makes them feel funny when it gets to the alert sounds.

People like James Bridle and the people at BERG write a lot about post-digital media. Internet artists like Pixelfucks and Quickhoney (both moderately NSFW) cover the discussion visually, too. They like to go into the fact that now that we can do anything with bits and bytes, we can focus on what we want to do, rather than being restricted to what computers and pixels are good at. One of the things that I really like exploring is the impact of some of those old limitations of the digital form, particularly when those previously hard-and-fast limitations become more of a rough guideline, as the transition from 2D pixels to 3D volume pixels (voxels) suggests in a game like Voxatron. Something about pattern diffusion and the textured-but-clean surfaces they produce are extremely appealing. I’ve spent a lot of time in front of this latest experiment and find it very entertaining.

Are there any features of the old digital limitations that you have a fondness for? Has there been any adequate re-examination of what made those features interesting? I loved all the complex dither patterns on the black-and-white mac classic in the 80s and the lurid vibrance of palette-cycle animations in the early 90s.

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