I came upon my medium (glitch art) completely by happenstance. My first major medium was writing, which led me to create typographic street art (and later, cat stickers!). This was in the early days of Instagram, so I researched different apps to jazz up my images for posting.
Among the batch of apps I experimented with was Glitché. I didn’t have any particular outcome I was seeking, but I was quickly entranced with how completely I could transform my work from recognizable representation to psychedelic abstraction. Add in the fact that I could do everything on my phone, and I was hooked!
I (sadly!) completely relate to this misconception. Early in life I was pigeonholed as a writer, so while I did dabble in other art forms (including fashion design), it always felt conditional—”I’m a writer, so I’m not really doing this.” Or “I’m not actually an artist, so it’s OK that I’m not very good.” I placed limitations on myself, simply because of lack of training, rather than fully realizing aspirations.
Creating glitch art on my phone changed that. While I started out doing it just for fun, discovering that I had a knack for it led me to grow more confident and ambitious. There’s an ethos of embracing experimentation and error that I really vibed with—similar to the democratic nature of street art. If you want to do it, you do it. And you do it your own way, in venues and formats that are open to you (in this case, the streets and your phone).
That said, I initially shied away from telling people that I created my work on my phone—it felt unprofessional. But the matter of how accessible the art form is holds a special allure for me, and I felt disingenuous holding that back. Now that I am forthright about my methods, I’ve been delighted to discover that not only do people not look down on them, they are appreciative of them, too!
Even though I am proud of teaching myself, I am passionate about expanding the practice and bringing in even more participants—particularly those who believe they don’t have the capacity to create visual art.
To wit, I was fortunate enough to be awarded a Visual Art Fellowship in 2019, for which I created a Virtual Artist Talk + Digital Workshop as my Community Benefit project. My hope is that I can lower the bar to entry to expand the art form to all.
I began my glitch trajectory with still imagery, but I’m really excited to dive deeper into video art and animation.
Looping in collaboration is a direction I’m particularly passionate about. Recently I’ve been creating music videos (for The Square Root of Negative Two and Maria Finkelmeier) and album art (for Doug Bielmeier). Merging our time-based mediums has been so gratifying—it truly takes my work to the next level, and it’s way more fun to promote something when I know it isn’t all about me. :)
Another major collaboration has been my work with Ben K. Foley. He specializes in creating physical constructions that play with perception and optical illusions. We’ve teamed up on some of my absolute favorite projects—like “Glitchfield,” an infinity mirror box that Ben built, which featured my kaleidoscopic glitch videos projected into it—and are working on making our partnership official under the name bent/haus.
Looking forward, I’m hoping to progress with more large-scale installations with Ben, additional music collabs, and more large-scale solo installations like building wraps and environmental art. Basically, I’m trying to stretch my legs in both the digital and physical realms, so I can keep learning, exploring, and making an immersive impact!
One of the most important people in my life—electronic musician Robin Amos—gave me just the confidence boost I needed when he shared his p.o.v. that the gatekeeping for self-expression is horse puckey; that doing something makes you that thing, and you don’t need to rely on some other authority to self-identify. So if you write, you’re a writer. If you make art, you’re an artist. That’s it.
Internalizing that revelation mercifully ripped away the intimidating artifice of art snobbery in my mind, leading me to be more fearless and determined in my own path, without worrying what “the art world” might think.
I love promoting other artists, so I could talk for hours hyping up all the cool creatives I’m lucky to know (or know about)!
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