Phillip Stearns’ Glitch Art Textiles
Within the undefined abyss of the digital realm, multimedia artist Phillip Stearns is seeking to redefine the relationship between traditional artistic practices and the aesthetic explorations of electronic media. Stearns’ interest here lies in the abstraction of the carefully programmed digital artefact – in this case, the digital camera. By physically manipulating the circuitry of the digital camera, Stearns renders this object useless to contemporary photographic practices, instead allowing the camera to capture images outside of our visual realities. These distorted images are a form of glitch art, characterised by unnaturally acidic colours, abrupt geometric sequences, and the aesthetic of a randomised digital error. Glitch art, in this way, can be read as an explicit rebellion against the precisely structured presence of digital technologies.
For Stearns, however, this preoccupation with the deliberately aestheticised adulteration of digital media transcends this desire to defy the intended usage of such technologies. Through his online project, Year of the Glitch, which features daily posts of his own glitch art, Stearns began to explore the glitch as a textile concept. Now producing woven tapestries, rugs, and blankets of this vibrant digital media, Stearns has developed a correlation between a contemporary technological rebellion and the centuries-old tradition of artistic weaving. These two forms of art, like polar opposites, bring together the intangible realm of digital media with the concrete utilitarian practice of textile-weaving.