When imperfection comes out from software malfunctions

“A glitch is a mess that is a moment, a possibility to glance at software’s inner structure, wheter it is a mechanism of data compression or HTML code. Altough a glitch does not revel the true functionality of the computer, it shows the ghostly conventionality of the forms by which digital spaces are organized.”
Olga Goriunova and Alexei Shulgin, Glitch, in Matthew Fuller (edited by), Software Studies: A Lexicon, Cambridge, MA: Mit Press, 2008, p. 114.


The following are clear examples of what the aesthetics of glitch can be:

Lomography and imperfection

“Don’t think. Be opened. Just shoot” is the essence of lomography which recently forms a “no skill required” trend within photography society. With the casual snapshot philosophy and the lomographic characteristics, including the flood of high contrast and over-saturated color theory, eccentric vignette framing, unsharp composition, and imperfection exposure. Lomography is an abstract representation of an understanding of life with the notion of translating the freedom through lomo. … Certainly, lomo is fun and exciting as it contains the fundamental nature of film photography – results might vary and out of expectation. Lomographer believes, the quality of the lomography does not matter and it supposes to be in a certain blurry effect to represent the abstraction or beautifully imperfection.”

Source: openobject.org

Be fast.
Accidentally moving

Images taken from: lomography.com

Glitch: Designing Imperfection

“Systems Fail. Errors Happen, Computers don’t know whats going on. We see interesting and unusual visuals artefacts and glitches, We capture them!
At other times we provoke them!
This book presents a really colorful and vibrant variety of unusual visual glitch artwork from some very talented people.
This book was 4 years in the making, and received over 900 contributions! The book is a must have for anyone with an interest in Glitch Art & Aesthetics. With interviews and introductions for those who want to learn more.”

Source: designingimperfection.com

Not an imperfect technique but a lot of narcisism

“The amateur is not necessarily defined by a lesser knowledge, an imperfect technique … but rather by this: he is the one who does not exhibit, the one who does not make himself heard.”
Roland Barthes, Réquichot et son corps, 1973.

What about the Boyz and Girlz du net by French photographer Mathieu Grac?
Is this a hide or a exhibition?

Mathieu Grac3

Mathieu Grac6
Mathieu Grac7

Mathieu Grac10Mathieu Grac13

Mathieu Grac12


Eating Journey (Confessions of a Reformed Eater)

“Outside the commercial field, an amateur experience that has gained the attention of the Western media is the blog Eating Journey (Confessions of a Reformed Eater) led by Michelle Gay. In the ‘Exposed’ section this young woman proudly displays her body and invites other blog users to do the same. In response to this invitation many women (but also a few men) have posted photos of their bodies showing that they share the rejection of those models that lead them to despise their own image just because it differs from the glossy perfection that dominates the covers of fashion magazines. Users of Eating Journey instead want to celebrate their body, most interestingly in the practice introduced by Gay of highlighting presumed flaws such as a large belly with slogans like: ‘where I carried a healthy baby for 9 months’. Perfection is therefore increasingly seen as a false virtue, a feature common only to creatures confined to the fictional media world and as far from everyday reality as much as the protagonists of fairy tales or the heroes of Greek mythology. As pointed out by one of the bloggers that have exposed themselves: ‘The Beautiful at any cost, the Perfect in all the sauces, make us tired and bored, for the simple reason that they don’t belong to our earthly life of vulnerable and transient beings, constantly moved by errors and full of flaws and lacks of every kind. Imperfection is our natural habitat: a physical, moral and social imperfection.’”

Web Aesthetics, p. 249 – 250 (note: 39).


Beautiful Imperfection


“The Nigerian-born songwriter employs a sultry alto, neo-soul rhythms and super-sunny vibes on her brand new album”.
Source: music.aol.com

“Paris-based Nigerian vocalist Bukola “Asa” Elemide is adept at weaving varicoloured musical tapestries: her second album mixes soul, reggae, lyrics in English and Yoruba – and a cover photo by fashionable Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Mondino, which suggests things aren’t quite as homespun as they sound. It’s a warm, inviting blend, with Asa’s husky, lightly swinging vocals its focal point. It’s undeniably cosy listening; Fela Kuti and Bob Marley were childhood idols, but their conscious commentary isn’t Asa’s thing, and when she does address the state of the world, her indignation is couched in wistful platitudes (“Why is there so much religion, yet there is so little love?”). But if Asa is no maverick, she’s very good at making mellow pop about life’s smaller tribulations. The Way I Feel, a scaled-down, finger-snapping blues tune is a beauty, and when she gets her jazz groove on in Bimpé and Be My Man, you wish the songs would never end.”
Source: guardian.co.uk

Amateur Pornographic Productions

“No reflection on digitally pirated cultural products is complete without some discussion of pornographic materials. More interesting than the mere proliferation of international bestsellers is the increasing amount of amateur materials. These amateur productions are important because they undermine the model of sexuality based on the obsessive repetition of insubstantial narrative routines”

“The element of fantasy that is always censured by ‘mainstream’ pornography regains life in amateur pornographic productions, such as in private videos that have been stolen and, more rarely, in artistic pornography. In these cases, viewers are encouraged to construct a narrative … In other words, viewers are encouraged to open the doors to fantasy. These realities are finally antagonistic to the industry’s attempts to crystallize an aesthetics of desire. As users of pornography become used to equating low-resolution images with the truth, and increasingly reject the commercialized images as unrealistic, the industry seeks to recover its market share by producing fake amateur videos – thus reinforcing the shift towards disturbed aesthetic experiences”.

Web Aesthetics, p. 164 – 165.



In Praise of Imperfection

“The rise of a rhetoric of an ‘aesthetics of imperfection’ in the field of advertising would seem to confirm” the hypothesis that “a taste for imperfection is spreading across all fields of visual culture”.

The next 3 examples “are expressions of the commercial attempt to take possession of the truth of the flaw. The wish for irregularity and for the breaking of symmetry are so characteristic of the spirit of time that the public views admissions of flaws as genuine. It is hardly surprising, then, that communication experts try to veil their messages or products in a cloak of authenticity.”

Web Aesthetics, p. 164.

Imperfect, but you love them realized by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi for Maryland Cookies

Italian campaign for the launch of the BMW 5 Series

Praise of small flaws in the Singapore Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports campaign Beautifully Imperfect.


“The concept behind Unpixelated (2009) by the Swedish artist Anders Weberg is the fact that Japanese law requires that all male and female genitalia in Japanese porn be blurred, so as to obscure it from sight, a procedure referred to as bokashi. In Unpixelated, Weberg utilizes software that reconstructs the censored images. Once the software has been applied, the rest of the image is blurred, so that only the previously censored genitalia are clearly identifiable.”

Web Aesthetics, p. 164.


Unpixelated:One by Anders Weberg from Anders Weberg on Vimeo.


“In Delter (2002), Victor Liu offers an explicit magnification of the approximate nature of the digital moving image. Using software capable of extracting what is between one frame and another in an MPEG video, Liu reveals the inter-frames as shaded, ghost-like traces of a video’s images. With this project, Liu exposes the structure of the data as fixed in a compression procedure, revealing a scheme designed to be viewed and interpreted by machines only. In viewing this structure, we see the human becoming machine: the last landing place of the desire to replace the machine in rebuilding the wholeness of the movement of the images that Delter deprives of their objects.”

Web Aesthetics, p. 164.