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Glitch Artist — Sabato Visconti

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I am a big fan of digital art; it’s new, experimental, and asks very little of those who wish to pursue it (no need for fancy pastels and canvases). Sure this can mean a lot of uninspired garbage, but oftentimes a few gems will shine through, finding their way to your computer or smartphone. Normally I write on Gif artists and the many amazing, moving, and looping creations they upload, but today I wanted to shine a light on another area of digital expression, Glitch Art.

Do a quick Google and you’ll likely stumble on the many approaches people take, but essentially it works like this: grab a JPEG, open it in a text editor (this will show you all the data that makes up each of those pixels), then start deleting stuff. It’s haphazard, mostly random, and entirely unpredictable. Altering this code is an intentional act of destruction, an abuse of digital image formats. Sometimes a couple of colours will change, sometimes whole slabs of the image will be destroyed, but sometimes you’ll end up with something beautiful.

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One of the more interesting practitioners is Sabato Visconti, a photographer and illustrator who has since turned his affections toward this digital vandalism. His work is breathtaking; a distortion of pixels and data that becomes so far removed from its original source that you’d be hard pressed to guess what he started with. I have included some of my favourite pieces below, but head over to Reform and read a little about Visconti and the way he goes about creating these masterpieces.

—Ash