Glitch and retro TV aesthetics

Curator’s choice

From Nam June Paik to Jennifer Juniper Stratford, Cory Arcangel, and other artists influenced by the idea of the glitch. A glitch, a malfunction from a TV monitor or in a video game, distortions, misalignments, malfunctions, grainy images, and hardware failures are tools to transmit repetitions, technology and sentimentality for a lost era, an attempt to refer to nostalgia and/or net art. What is commonly used by the artists in this selection is the crossover between digital and analog that seems to be a recurrent point in some of the practices and an important aspect in the treatment of the imagery and of the sound—the collapsing of the linear time frame seems to be of interest and an important creative methodology. The glitch aesthetic is an effective and affective tool to explore contemporary yearning for past generations, often used nowadays by artists who have not necessarily experienced a real TV glitch! But it is also a trend of its own, a creative and critical tool of a failing technology and society.

"In a society that conditions the public to find discomfort or outright fear in the errors and malfunctions of our socio-cultural mechanics—illicitly and implicitly encouraging an ethos of “Don’t rock the boat!”—a “glitch” becomes an apt metonym. Glitch Feminism, however, embraces the causality of “error”, and turns the gloomy implication of glitch on its ear by acknowledging that an error in a social system that has already been disturbed by economic, racial, social, sexual, and cultural stratification and the imperialist wrecking-ball of globalization—processes that continue to enact violence on all bodies—may not, in fact, be an error at all, but rather a much-needed erratum. This glitch is a correction to the “machine”, and, in turn, a positive departure." (L. Russell, The Society Pages, 2013)

Kristen Roos

Mac + Amiga: Ultra/Deluxe Paint

This NFT has been created with vintage paint software from 1990–1991: Ultrapaint for 68k Macintosh and Deluxe Paint IV for Commodore Amiga. This work uses color range/palette cycling and speaks to the history of paint software for early personal computers. We see a reference to 16 bit aesthetics, the origins of computer software. Kristen's work is a living document of the processes associated with this historic software. This definition opens the work to the idea of living archives and how to revive new technologies that age so fast.

Omar El Sayed


A collaboration between digital artist Vansdesign and sound designer and musician Zplit. We as the audience are in the position of the spectator at home in front of a 1990s TV monitor, watching a sunset taking place in a tron-like environment. The upbeat synth music adds to the mystery around the digital landscape projected by the TV.

Zplit—by Miguel Morales—is a musical project that aims to blend different styles of electronic and dance sounds, merging creations with a sharp focus in analog instruments and unique collectible non-fungible tokens.


Abstract Geometric Poster Design.
Abstract Geometric Poster Design. by hngeb

This is a classic design for when TV stations would be off program for the night. Which nowadays doesn’t exist. We live in a world where everything is constantly running or can be turned on at any time. Endless streaming, no rest, here we have a reminiscence of a test card, also known as a test pattern used when no program was being broadcast. They were used as early as the 1930s, when TV broadcasts started, and were designed to calibrate the fidelity of an image at both the television camera and receiver ends of the transmission process. Appearing first as a “tuning signal” in 1934, as part of the Baird 30-line experimental broadcasts, over the subsequent eight decades successive generations of Test Card have become subtly incorporated into the cultural experience of television watching.

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Norman Harman

Future Wastelands - Station II
Future Wastelands - Station II by Norman Harman

Harman's Digital Wastelands is an exploration through moving layers of images that are highly saturated and distorted. The whole scene seems to be of a modernist concrete building by Oscar Niemeyer or Walter Gropius, with some cars parked in front. The modernist allusion is quite subjective but refers to a failing era. The text describes a look to a distant future, so here we could imagine a collapse of linear timelines and the merging of multiverses. Norman Harman > Painter l AI l Blockchain l Crypto Art


Earth passing by
Earth passing by by 0xbull

Oxbull enters the traditions of NFT artists that insist on retaining anonymity. They have quite an eclectic practice, which leads us to not keep our radar on for too long. But on this occasion, we couldn’t help but enjoy this ever passing moon/planet through the lens of a squared pixelated and saturated screen. The poetics of our glitch aesthetic is manifesting as rough and true to the screen as it can possibly be.

Sarah Zucker

Licky Loaf
Licky Loaf by Sarah Zucker

Signature Digital-Analog Video Alchemy by Sarah Zucker / @thesarahshow. Created in studio in 2021 with original footage and analog processing on VHS. Digitally transferred in 1080p.

The Sarah Show is about what we consider 1970s and 1980s trends and design in art, with a twist of contemporaneity in the content treatment. Here the idea is of the cat meme or the psychedelic cat invading our screen. The pun in the title is typical of this artist: Licky Loaf, laugh.

Sarah Zucker is an artist + writer based in Los Angeles. She is known as @thesarahshow across the internet.


Sunset by Alighieri

We have selected this artist for the texture and the technique, which combines digital paint and moving image: the abject look of the material and its gooey feeling gives it a sort of surface of the sun look. This reminded me of TV documentaries about volcanoes and close ups of lava rivers. The base of the moving image has a sort of old school explosion or 1980s sci fi vibe that is undeniably attractive to the eye.

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