Regardless of what we think the year 2012 will bring, now is a good time to stop and think about the world we live in. Are we all aware that our civilization is supported by fragile, man-made, digital structures that exist among untamed forces of nature?
What would it look like if the visible world suddenly and unexpectedly disintegrated before our eyes? Would it be digital?
‘Designing the Corrosive Moment’ explores digital glitch as a disruptive force, an aesthetic agent, and investigates its role in designing a digital catastrophe. Although identifying the ‘natural’ and unpredictable glitch with intentional design is a paradox, much is to be learned from this phenomenon.
First of all, this collection of works attempts to portray what happens when undetermined and incorrect processes operating underneath the surface, accumulate and reach critical mass, causing the photographic reality to collapse under the vandalizing force of the glitch. This looming threat constitutes a catastrophic force of destruction, much like an earthquake. It is a moment of corrosion when represented reality, and all its presumed truths become dissolved by the entropic force of digital corruption in a colorful, acidic path of pixels and absurdity. It is an apocalyptic moment, because it is both a failure and a revelation of a system our civilization depends on.
It is also a moment of awareness since the destructive potential of the glitch exposes our illusion of control, our reliance on flawed structures and our false sense of stability.
Glitch is a nihilistic force that reveals the postmodern fragmentation of consumer psyche, causes disruption in communication, and engulfs the world in the apocalyptic noise where form, control and meaning are denied their operations. Just as the early punk culture embraced anarchy to bring attention to the meaninglessness of life, so does the glitch destroy or deny the authority of structures. But what if we accept it, and use it to decorate? This is how punk became popular while at the same time it ‘unbecame’ punk.
The imagery here oscillates between chaos and order, accident and intention, by harvesting glitches from their natural occurrences, stimulating them in digital files, and assimilating them aesthetically into visual content through intentional design.
As a result the corrosive glitch moves on a sliding scale from being an active ingredient in the process, to being an aesthetic shell where the visuals are only a faint echo of the original moment of disturbance.
So is this a show about the end of the world or the end of glitch? Both are the destroyer and the destroyed, a serious threat and an assimilated effect.
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Marta Blicharz is a Polish-Canadian, traditionally trained visual artist, currently exploring computer graphics and photography in the context of the digital glitch and its postmodern identity. Growing up in the small town Sulecin, Poland, Marta participated in many local art contests and international artist visits which were hosted by the town’s Centre for Culture, Sport and Recreation. (SOKSiR).
In the summer of 2000, Marta moved to Lethbridge, AB, Canada with her family, where she completed the International Baccalaureate Art courses and obtained her high school diploma in 2002. She then went on to pursue an arts degree at the University of Calgary and in 2006 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography) and a Minor in Psychology. In the meantime Marta engaged in some freelance photography work and had her photos published in several magazines. Two years later, Marta enrolled in the Multimedia Production Diploma Program at Lethbridge College and graduated in 2010 with honours.
Marta exhibited at the Pixel gallery in Toronto, as well as at the Computational Aesthetics in Vancouver in 2011. Her work has been shown both in a group and solo context. She has also presented at the 2011 Glitch Festival in Chicago. In August 2012, Marta completed her Master of Fine Arts in New Media degree at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Her aspirations for the future involve becoming a writer, a film director and maintaining her digital art practice while teaching art and design at established educational institutions in Canada.