This informal in-class activity builds on some of our readings and class discussions, particularly Belojevic’s thinking on circuit-bending and Boyle’s work on glitch. The goal is to tinker, experiment, and play. As Boyle says of glitch artists, “what they ‘create’ is not reducible to what they can consciously know or anticipate” (23). As a mode of invention, rhetoric often foregrounds the importance of purpose: what do you want to achieve, and what are the most effective ways to achieve it for this particular audience? Glitch reconfigures our thinking, such that the purpose becomes something along the lines of “make things happen that weren’t happening before” or “open up new possibilities by using something in a way it wasn’t meant to be used.”
Your work here can go in a number of different directions. Here are some possibilities (although this list is not exhaustive):
- Take up Boyle’s glitch practices: “incorrect editing” (editing a data file with software designed for a different type of file, such as editing a .jpeg file using TextEdit) and incorrect conversion (converting one file type to an incompatible one, such as converting an .mp3 to a .jpeg).
- Take up Belojevic’s circuit-bending practices, manipulating the hardware of a given technology and seeing how this affects the technology’s performance.
- Take an existing game and mess with its rules or components.
- Mash-up multiple audio tracks or create a visual collage.
- Take any object and find an unintended use for it.
While this activity is not graded, you can get extra-credit for your work here if you produce something substantial and write a one-page (350-500 word) commentary and reflection on your work.