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Glitch processing of a ball.

Museum Link:

Source Link:

Date Minted: December 8, 2019

Artist Description: I was playing Minecraft, my sister threw me a ball. We took Dad's smartphone, photographed the ball and then we played to glitching it.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Glitch processing of a ball is an accident. And by that I mean this work, in all its elegant and simplistic glory, seems to have come about by happenstance. Read the artist description: “I was playing Minecraft, my sister threw me a ball. We took Dad's smartphone, photographed the ball and then we played to glitching it.” The “I” in question is either K. or S., one of the two young children (7 and 11) who present their highly-colorful, highly-imaginative, highly-frenetic work under the Superrare pseudonym Kaysha. It’s impressive, the amount of color and texture pulled from what I assume was a relatively uninspiring picture: that of a ball. But the image here is wholly unique, one of serene color schemes and enchanting shapes and, somehow, a fascinating examination of a thing’s ability to retain its identity in spite of fundamental change, and whether it remains the thing it was in the first place. 

(And yes, I am aware that I’m giving ~1000 words of criticism to a child’s half-accidental composition. I don't know, man, sue me. This ish is fun.)

The “thing” in question being the ball referenced in the Artist Description. Take everything away from this piece, description and title and oeuvre of its artist. Would you know by looking at this piece that it began as a photograph? Could you guess what it was a photograph of? In the course of being glitched by the artist, the original image of a ball completely loses its essence, its inherent inborn ball-ness. What we’re looking at is hardly even reality, let alone a depiction of a realistic object. The colors are borne from another, technological world, not of our physical reality. The shapes and lines and effects most certainly aren’t, instead being the product of some audience-unknown program. Via the process of glitching, the image has lost its entire sense of connection with the thing it once was. It is no longer a representation or capturing of real life, but is instead an entirely different thing, neither wholly real nor wholly illusionary, existing in some strange third plane, one where the two —item and artistic ideal— are married.

It’s a somewhat high-minded question to come from such an innocuous background, but then, it’s impossible to predict the ending of any artistic experiment. And every part of Glitch processing exudes experimentation. From the colors —this piece is awash in pinks and blues and purples, all melded together at places into lavender, or otherwise starkly apart, in neo-futuristic lines pulled from Akira— to the textures, the textures of static and of processing and of Routine Safety Tests at 2am on NBC. The logic in this piece is its lack of logic, or of any coherent placement of lines and textures that may lead to some generalized understanding of intent. We’re dealing in overlaid computer graphics here; intent is passé. Instead, we get surprise! Excitement! Sudden shifts and changes; things appearing like silhouettes. Things pulled apart from their characteristics and decolored, recolored, stretched and flattened and given layers, given strings of electric color, given a new life as a new thing.

Because the only real conclusion we can draw from Glitch processing of a ball is that the “ball” no longer exists. Look at this photo and tell me otherwise. Tell me where the ball is, and how it relates to the ideal concept of a ball. Nothing here is round or spherical. Nothing here is mobile. Nothing here betrays any commonality with anything we have seen before; it is an entirely new invention. This isn’t altogether rare. Outputs rarely match inputs when we’re talking about a sufficiently strong process. Eggs turn into cake. Iron ore becomes a car door. A human zygote becomes an elongated skeleton stretched out, 97 years later, in a coffin, buried a few feet underground a few miles outside of Tucson. Wood burns to ash. That we are seeing a process of similar strength engendered via computer is not necessarily groundbreaking, although it is thought-provoking. What does it mean about the mutability of our “reality” when objects can be captured in an image, warped beyond recognition, and exit the other side of the process anew? Perhaps things are not as certain as they seem. Perhaps no characteristics are sacred and all things are changing. A popped balloon. Sugar spun into cotton candy. 

If anything lacks in Glitch, it’s a separate reference to the initial, “real” image, this ball we’ve heard so much about. It would emphasize the changeling nature of things if we could not only see the overt and complete destruction of the thing, but see the thing itself as well. Ultimately, this is not a criticism of the piece itself, but of the underlying philosophical conundrums behind it, and a desire to see them played out in a way which is more comprehensible. 

Glitch, quite obviously, isn’t super interested in being comprehensible. This is the way of art. It’s also the way of children. It is the ragged old mind, roughed up by a need for order, that demands more flesh on these here bones. Glitch probably doesn’t need it, anyways.

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