The WordPad Glitch as a metaphor for abstract expressionism.
The classic image of abstract expressionism
as the acting out of unconscious drives is
founded on a concept of an unconscious where
the bulk of the self, like an iceberg, lies
hidden under the water level, out of sight
and outside of control.
As a consequence of this metaphor, the
artist is send on a risky search into the
self, on a quest for hidden
secrets, and uncontrollable drives,
constantly trying to balance the
edge of madness.
The artistic ideal of this metaphor of the
unconscious is that getting in touch with
the hidden and suppressed drives, opens up
the possibility of a free expression that
is- the unrestricted analog flow of
sensations to the canvas.
Of course this is not possible because there
has to be a translation from one medium,
(the feeling or sensation), to the other
medium (brush/ paint) and inevitably
something gets lost in the process.
Paradoxically it is exactly this conflict
that gives the appealing dualistic energy to
a lot of expressionist material.
The WordPad Glitch occurs when an image coded in one language (Unicode) is opened in a program that uses another language with lesser symbols (ASCII).
This aberrant decoding causes parts of the image to erupt as an un-translated surplus resulting in a chaotic and colorful mixture of the translated image and the underlying grid of the program.
Like the WordPad Glitch the brush will never
be able to hold the perfect information of
the ideal, and therefore the un-translated
surplus offers a useful explanation for the
unconscious that is- the urgent, raw and
explosive energy in the picture.
The advantage of using the WordPad Glitch as
a metaphor instead of the
iceberg of the
unconscious, is that there is no hidden or
occult monstrosity lurking under the
surface, there is only the un-translated
material of an image that is already known
and the grid of the program.
It enables an experimental approach, so that
a whimsical phenomenon like glitch can turn
into a more or less controllable tool