I wrote an essay for the publication accompanying Daniel Temkin‘s solo exhibition, GLITCHOMETRY, held at Transfer Gallery, New York – November 16 through December 14, 2013. The publication also features an interview with the artist by Curt Cloninger.
Excerpt from my essay :
Glitchometry turns away from the ‘new earth’; the milieu of cyphers that constitute our contemporary audio-visual cognizance. By foregoing the simulations relied on when Photoshopping an image Temkin assumes an almost meditative patience with the will of the digital. As with Duchamp’s infra-thin – ‘the warmth of a seat which has just been left, reflection from a mirror or glass… velvet trousers, their whistling sound, is an infra-thin separation signalled’ – the one of the image and the other of the raw data is treated as a signal of meagre difference. Data is carefully bent in a sequence of sonifications that always risk falling back into the totalising violence of failure.
For 3 years I have collaborated on a project with Kyoung Kim. Known as GLTI.CH Karaoke, or sometimes just GLTI.CH, we’ve plotted the course of accidents, of temporal lyrical disjoints and technical out-of-syncs through a wide variety of different mediums, spaces and social conditions. This week saw what feels like the climax of our experiments, a three day – 67 hour – installation at CRYSTALLIZE, an exhibition of new media art held alongside the 2013 Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo, at Old Billingsgate, London.
GLTI.CH has played a significant part in my practice and thus my thinking over the last 3 years. Working with Kyoung has afforded me countless experiences and opportunities, and introduced me to the world of glitch, digital, net and new media arts and artists. The project is not over, but its Karaoke phase is drawing to a conclusion. I thought it would be a good time to republish this half-considered manifesto I wrote a while back.
15 Statements about Glti.ch Notworking
What makes out today’s networking is the notworking. There would be no routing if there were no problems on the line. Spam, viruses and identity theft are not accidental mistakes, mishaps on the road to techno perfection. They are constitutional elements of yesterday’s network architectures.
Lovink, Gert. (2005), “The Principle of Notworking Concepts in Critical Internet Culture,” p. 10
GLTI.CH Karaoke is not a hack or some fancy programming. It’s taking the front-end of things and trying to make something else. We’ve made the mishmashed world of GLTI.CH Karaoke through play and we hope you’ll sing with us.
karaoke, glti.ch (2011), “WHAT IS GLTI.CH KARAOKE?”
3. What Gaston Bachelard called ‘Desire Paths’, physical etchings in our surroundings drawn by the thoughtless movement of (human) feet, also exist online.
4. For those versed in the language of the glti.ch, desire equals subversion and the means of flight – a way to reverse the roles of power. The line of desire in these cases is often laid directly over the enclosed path.
5. Being buffered along by the unruly torrents of technical failure, the true semblance of the glti.ch is impossible to pin down: notwork control mechanisms have desirable unintended effects.
7. Algorithms that churn your Google search, or offer you potential meta-data with which to imbricate your image collection into the logic of the database, have themselves become actors in the play of human relations.
9. Interruption, stutters and breaks force us into encounters with the world, exposing the circuitry that we as consumers are expected to elude into the background.
11. The most astonishing thing about the notwork is how any order can be maintained in it at all.
12. The more regulations imposed upon the notworks, the more interesting the resulting glti.ches will be in their variation/liberation.
13. Human beings are material entities, buffered by the same stops and starts as the notwork.
15. The glti.ch is a social phenomenon.
I am very pleased to have an essay/chapter in This Mess is a Place, a collection on hoarding and clutter, edited, compiled and misfiled by Zoë Mendelson. The book is currently available from the website, with wider distribution to follow from the very wonderful AND Publishing.
This publication looks at the onset of hoarding through the voices of clinicians and expands the theme to examine how relationships to objects in space inform a number of fields in ways that can be seen to interrelate and impact upon each other. The idea behind the form of this anthology is that practice and artistic research can co-exist with more clinical and scientific research. It is hoped this will create overlaps and crises of ‘usefulness’ akin to the submersion of materials within a hoard or the pursuit of order within a collection. The publication itself is unbound – illogical and precarious as an object, containing loose leaves, pamphlets and nominal filing systems, gathered together in no particular order. The reader is ultimately responsible for the order (or dis-order) of the piece. Publication date is October 26th 2013.
It includes articles, artworks, interviews and fiction. Alongside This Mess is a Place's own collaborators from psychiatric and archival fields there are contributions of artistic projects from Jim Bay (UK); Michel Blazy (FR); Carrie M Becker (USA); Marjolijn Dijkman (NL); Nat Goodden (UK), Jefford Horrigan (UK); Dean Hughes (UK); Mierle Laderman Ukeles (USA); Robert Melee (USA); Zoë Mendelson (UK); Florence Peake (UK); Michael Samuels (UK); Kathryn Spence (USA); Tomoko Takahashi; Robin Waart (NL); Julian Walker (UK) and Laura White (UK).
The publication contains essays and documents by Dr. Colin Jones (Senior Lecturer/Researcher in Applied Health and Social Sciences, UK); Dr. Haidy Geismar (lecturer in digital anthropology and material culture, US/UK); Jeremy Gill (urban planner and theorist, AUS); Cecilie Gravesen (artist, curator and writer, UK/Den); Dr. Alberto Pertusa (consultant psychiatrist, UK); Daniel Rourke (artist and researcher, UK); Isobel Hunter (archivist and Head of Engagement at the National Archives, UK); Satwant Singh (nurse practitioner and cognitive behavourial therapist, UK); Nina Folkersma (curator and critic, NL); Alberto Duman (artist, writer, UK). A full list of essay titles can be seen here. The publication also includes documentary photography by Paula Salischiker (ARG) and an interview with an anonymous hoarder's daughter.Read more about the publication and project at thismessisaplace.co.uk
The latest in a series of interviews with artists who have developed a significant body of work engaged (in its process, or in the issues it raises) with technology. See the full list of Artist Profiles here.
Daniel Rourke: Your recent work, You Could've Said, is described as "a Google keyword confessional for radio." I've often considered your work as having elements of the confession, partly because of the deeply personal stance you perform—addressing we, the viewer or listener, in a one-on-one confluence, but also through the way your work hijacks and exposes the unseen, often algorithmic, functions of social and network media. You allow Google keywords to parasitize your identity and in turn you apparently "confess" on Google's behalf. Are you in search of redemption for your social-media self? Or is it the soul of the algorithm you wish to save?
Erica Scourti: Or maybe the algorithm and social media soul is now so intertwined and interdependent that it makes little sense to even separate the two, in a unlikely fulfillment of Donna Haraway's cyborg? Instead of having machines built into/onto us (Google glasses notwithstanding), the algorithms which parse our email content, Facebook behaviours, Amazon spending habits, and so on, don't just read us, but shape us.
I'm interested in where agency resides when our desires, intentions and behaviours are constantly being tracked and manipulated through the media and technology that we inhabit; how can we claim to have any "authentic" desires? Facebook's "About" section actually states, "You can't be on Facebook without being your authentic self," and yet this is a self that must fit into the predetermined format and is mostly defined by its commercial choices (clothing brands, movies, ice cream, whatever). And those choices are increasingly influenced by the algorithms through the ambient, personalized advertising that surrounds us.Read the rest of this interview at Rhizome.org
The boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.
Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto (1991) 
This is no fantasy... no careless product of wild imagination. No, my good friends.
The opening lines of Richard Donner's Superman (1978) 
In a 1950 film serial entitled Atom Man vs Superman  television executive and evil genius Lex Luthor sends Superman into a ghostly limbo he calls "The Empty Doom." Trapped in this phantom void, Superman's infinite powers are rendered useless, for although he can still see and hear the "real" world his ability to interact with it has all but disappeared. Over the following decades this paraspace —to use Samuel Delany's term for a fictional space, accessed via technology, that is neither within nor entirely separate from the 'real' world—would reappear in the Superman mythos in various forms, beginning in 1961. Eventually dubbed "The Phantom Zone," its back story was reworked substantially, until by the mid 60s it had become a parallel dimension discovered by Superman's father, Jor El. Once used to incarcerate Krypton's most unsavory characters, The Phantom Zone had outlasted its doomed home world and eventually burst at the seams, sending legions of super-evil denizens raining down onto Earth. Beginning its life as an empty doom, The Phantom Zone was soon filled with terrors prolific enough to make even The Man of Steel fear its existence.
Overseen by story editor Mortimer Weisinger, and the unfortunately named artist Wayne Boring, the late 50s and early 60s were a strange time in the Superman universe. The comics suddenly became filled with mutated variants of kryptonite that gave Superman the head of an ant or the ability to read thoughts; with miniature Supermen arriving seconds before their namesake to save the day and steal his thunder; with vast universes of time caught fast in single comic book panels. It was an era of narrative excess wrapped by a tighter, more meticulous and, many would say, repressed aesthetic:Read the rest at Rhizome.org
In the past three decades the term “cyberspace” has come to define a social, rather than a geometric common environment. The term still conjures up images of posthuman projections and vast parallax branes, their cross-hatched surfaces woven at right angles by virtual motorcycles. We hear “cyberspace” and we think of terminals, of cables and an ocean of information, yet the most important means by which cyberspace is produced — namely human social and economic relations — barely registers a flicker. The objects of New Sculpt play between these contradictions.
Part of an ongoing series of interviews with artists who have developed a significant body of work but may not (yet) be well known to our readers. Nick Briz is an artist/educator/organizer living in Chicago, and co-founder of the conference and festival GLI.TC/H. This interview took place via Google Drive.
Nick Briz, The Glitch Codec Tutorial (2010-2011). Screenshot from YouTube video.
Daniel Rourke: You are involved in an "improvisational realtime/performance media art event" at the moment called "No Media," where participants are explicitly discouraged from preparing before they take part, or from creating documentation of any kind. I was lucky enough to see the first iteration of No-Media at GLI.TC/H 2112. I think my favourite performance involved a collaboration between Evan Kühl (of Vaudeo Signal), Curt Cloninger and yourself, scrambling to get something, anything, to work. The mania of this performance stood out because of its simplicity. At base I was watching a blindfolded anarchic poet stammering over ambient noise, but it really felt as if something important had happened. I wanted to start from this stripped-back position. Before we talk about media, why no media?
Nick Briz: NO-MEDIA was initially a performance experiment proposed by Jason Soliday for GLI.TC/H 2112 >> && Jason + Jeff + I have continued organizing 'em since. The premise is this: artists w/any kind of performative discipline (realtime A/V, jazz, dance, expanded cinema, noise, comedy, spoken word, etc) sign up. They get randomly paired w/two other performers at a random point in the evening (no one knows when or who until their names show up on the screen). They perform for 10mins. You’re not allowed to prepare any material (bring what tools/gear/props you want but there's NO time set aside for preparation) and there's NO documentation.
So far they've been a lot of fun, very messy + very inspiring. Re:my performance with Curt and Evan at the first NO-MEDIA, I'm not totally sure if this is the "something" you refer too... but for me there was a point a few mins into the performance where I realized what I was trying to do (some google chrome live coding) wasn't going to work... and I stopped... and I looked over at Evan and Curt... and totally changed my game plan... I don't want to go into detail re:what I started to project on a blindfolded Curt Cloninger... cause I don’t want to break the second rule of NO-MEDIA (no documentation ;)
DR: Your recent video essay, an open letter to Apple Computers, garnered a lot of support from glitch art / (new) media art communities. Can you talk about the politics of this work, and how it relates to glitch art methodologies?
NB: My personal relationship w/Apple is as complicated as it is b/c of glitch >> intentionally invoking glitches is usually a kind of misuse... and when you misuse Apple technology the (often invisible) politix embedded in their systems become very clear + am forced to reconcile 'em. The video is about that impossible reconciliation between my tech dependencies && my politix. I made the video for a screening organized by jonCates of remixes of work from the Phil Morton Memorial Archive + is a [re]mix/make of his 1976 video tape General Motors, where Phil, an artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at the time, addresses similar issues re:his + his community's relationship to && dependence on technology && tech-industries. As a professor at the same school + artist w/in the same community (nearly 40yrs later) dealing w/very similar problems w/similar industries... it seemed an appropriate issue to tackle && appropriate format to tackle it in.Finish reading at Rhizome.org