The growth of digital technology has developed a counter culture of deliberately distorting images using technology to aestheticise digital errors. Collectively referred to as glitch art, digital files are purposefully corrupted or have their code manipulated to create a purposefully distorted image. Much in the same way that Photoshop can aid a photographer to realise their vision, the manipulation of the base code of an image can produce startlingly differing results by manipulating only a few lines of code in a text editor. Using notepad or text editor on a mac can take some time and can often corrupt an image entirely. An in depth knowledge of computer coding is necessary in order to complete this task from a manual point of view, but fortunately there are free tools online that allow you to manipulate and glitch your images for free.
In this article I tested three separate tools that each allow you to upload your chosen image, glitch it and then download again. Unfortunately the file sizes are small and the images that are exported are roughly 900 pixels on the long edge, which isn’t ideal, but will still make a decent print on half a side of A4. Other programs do exist that require you to download them, if you have any experience with those or recommendations then do leave a comment and links at the bottom of the post.
Glitchet is a fantastic place to start your research: http://www.glitchet.com/resources
Explore the different types of glitching that are making waves in the art world, the Glitchet facebook page is pretty good too, like it and stay up to date with all their latest posts.
Image Glitcher – Airtight Interactive
This is a fairly simple glitcher with only two controls, upload your image and adjust the sliders. Glitchiness or Brightness are your only two controls, hit the glitch it button and it does the rest. The results are limited but good enough to get you started.
Image Glitch Tool – Snorpey
Glitch Map – Soulwire
what is pretty cool about this online glitch art editor is the fact that you can hit the ‘start animation’ button which works as a randomiser, watch the image morph in front of you and then switch it off again and tweak whats left to achieve the desired effect.
The most versatile of the online glitch tools that I found. A plethora of tools along the right hand side of the window gives the creator increased control over the outcome. The ‘Mosh’ button at the bottom of the screen is another randomiser and lets you explore the variety of effects on offer relatively quickly. Again one can press the button and tweak at each stage to achieve the desired effect.