Computer glitch captured as a colourful piece of artwork on a pale grey background, used as the front book cover of Glitch: Designing Imperfection, bottom right black and white logo for Guest editor: Cool hunting
(Image credit: TBC)

The result of a technological malfunction, the visual glitch is generally an unwelcome visitor—a digital artifact representing error. But when viewed in their own right, seemingly randomized visual abstractions become fascinating designs that represent a unique hybrid of human intention and mechanical failure. 

Glitch book cover

(Image credit: TBC)

Recently released by Mark Batty Publishers, Glitch: Designing Imperfection, examines these errors as works of art and explores their origins. The editors culled more than 200 glitch images from the various artists who created them, both by accident and experiment. The striking visuals are interspersed with interviews conducted with artists Angela Lorenz, Johnny Rogers, Kim Cascone, Ant Scott and O.K. Parking. Glitch also leads off with particularly illuminating essays by Norwegian artist Per Platou and designer/author Iman Moradi.

Observed through the lens of a handsome coffee table book, the amassed images garner a deeper appreciation for the digital fluke and make a convincing case for accidents as source of inspiration.

by Doug Black