Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Fake video glitches as artistic features

Recently (well, for a while now, I guess) it's been somewhat fashionable to introduce video artifacts like stutter, visual pause and digital glitch artifacts into video art. Take a look at the opening credits of Revolution and Falling Skies, or see if you notice it on a video billboard ad. It's like we're living in a Max Headroom revival.

My point is this: streaming video or even DVD and Blu-Ray playback is so often glitchy or a bit unreliable these days that I can't always tell whether the glitches and artistic choices made with the video are intentional or not. When a TV show opts for a momentary freeze frame and I'm watching on Netflix, I am never sure if that's deliberate or if it's Netflix screwing up and recovering quickly. Do it several times in a montage and I will probably pause the video to make sure it's buffering properly. There's a video billboard at the train station now that is so glitchy in general that I still don't know if the title screen is supposed to do what it does.

So is it going to stop? I doubt it. Maybe we'll see less of it over time. Maybe directors will start experimenting with something else, and that will be next year's fashion. I don't know.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Or maybe streaming video will get so good that I never expect it to stutter or glitch.
PPS - Well, no, probably not that.

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