Glitchwerks Chromafield

I was able to get my hands on the Glitchwerks Chromafield back in June of 2023. The Chromafield is a circuit bent Canon A540 digital camera. There are three switches to change the glitch effects as well as maintaining the features and functions of the camera.

I’ve done a bit of experimenting with the camera and I use it often when I’m out to capture glitches on the go. I’ve gotten some very vivid captures while out that bring a unique vibe to the world around us.

I’ve even used it as video input for a feedback loop at a live show. The colors were incredibly bright and brought a whole new dimension to the performance. I’ve also used it to capture TV footage for an instaglitch.

Overall I’m really happy with it and it’s a great addition to my glitch arsenal. One thing I had to do when I got it, just as an FYI, was replace the CMOS battery because it was dead. With no CMOS battery the camera drained the AAs very quickly.

Mothership Deluxe by Gator Glitch Gear

This post has been updated since initial publication.

This has been a long time coming, but I’m finally getting around to writing gear reviews! First up, we have the Mothership Deluxe by Gator Glitch Gear. The Mothership was the first circuit bent piece of analog glitching equipment I was able to obtain. Using the Archer Super Video Processor as a base, Gator creates a device that is able to explore new dimensions within the analog glitchverse.

It took some time to get a handle on what the device is able to do, but I soon found a setting that allowed me to create “The Bend”, as I call it. Examples of The Bend are below:

The bend has been a core component to my glitch art and is featured in a number of my pieces. I’ve also been able to get great moving effects from this device and rainbows for custom logo work.

One of the issues I had with this device was keeping track of different settings I had when achieving an awesome effect. To help with this, I am announcing the release of my patch sheet template along with 4 patch settings for the Mothership! I have them stored in a folder on my Google Drive, which will allow you to view and download the PDFs.

One of the things I’ve found with these analog devices is that the effect has to be created by twisting the knobs in a certain order. Normally I start on the left and move right to change the settings, but sometimes you need to wiggle some of them randomly to get the desired effect.

After speaking with Gator, there are a few other aspects of analog glitching and the Mothership I forgot to mention. First, the source media of the glitch has influence on what the resulting will be. Going full analog(VCR, camcorder, etc) will produce different visuals than going from a digital source then downgrading the signal to composite. Second, the type of TV used will also influence the resulting image. For glitching, I use a generic Target brand TV from the early 2000s. Different models may or may not result in the same glitch effects as what I have achieved. The patch notes I provide are a guide, hopefully you can find amazing effects and different sweet spots!

If you make some interesting patches, please let me know! I’m always finding new things with this device and I’d be very keen to see how others are using it.

Psych Glitch

Resolume is a really powerful VJ software that I have been exploring a lot with preparing for live visual shows. An output of one of these experiments was recording some footage of my analog glitch art through a few effects.

The analog textures come alive in new ways when combining them with digital processing effects. To achieve the output I’m using the Mirror Quad and Delay RGB effects. Not every analog glitch capture has worked for this, it needs to be something that scrolls so make the desired output.

I started using the output as a backdrop for recording some jams with the Moog Sound Studio. The result is something that is visually and audibly stunning and mesmerizing.

I plan on creating a collection of these videos to sell as a pack for creatives to use in their sets or whatever creative output they explore.

Live Visuals – Reflection on the show at the Downstairs in Ithaca 8/29

I set out with two goals for this year; one was to get my art in more galleries and the second was to do one live visual show. I can happily say that both of these goals have been achieved!

Through connections I’ve made from performing live with Adam Arritola, a request was put out for someone to do live visuals for an upcoming show in Ithaca. I quickly hopped on the request and was booked to perform visuals for the gig. I had been practicing live visuals in preparation for such an opportunity and was excited for tackling the challenge.

For each of the artists I created a setlist for them of different visual clips and effects. I listened to some of their music and asked them how they “saw” their performance and matched my footage to that. I mixed together footage I’ve taken, custom glitch footage I’ve done, and some stock video to put together an amazing visual performance. I also used a Glitchwerks Chromafield for some live glitch visuals of the performers.

The event went really well; the artists were pleased with the show they had. It certainly added a bit extra flair to what was going on. I was able to capture some video which is up on YouTube:

Glitch and AI: Exploring a new digital consciousness – FUBAR 2023

I had the amazing opportunity to present at this year’s FUBAR conference. I decided on a presentation that combined both my interest in glitch art and generative AI. I’ve long been disappointed with how the many generative AI systems struggle at producing images that capture the analog-CRT-glitch aesthetic.

Looking to change this, I finally decided to dive into training my own model to be used with Stable Diffusion. There are several guides available but I didn’t feel like they clearly explained it. Doing a bit more research, I found an online service that will generate the model based on images you provided. As a bonus, it builds off the standard SDv1.5 model so there are base images to create art with.

Using Dreamlook, I created my own SD model using 44 of my analog glitch art images. The results have been amazing!

Check out my whole talk on Youtube where I go into much more detail about the process!

Dealing with Content Stealers

I had been sitting on my glitch of the Flower City Logo for awhile before sharing it to the Rochester community. I submitted a print to the RoCo 6×6 fundraising show and posted it just to the r/Rochester subreddit.

I had the design up on the Threadless shop for awhile but it didn’t gain any traction. I decided to grab one for myself to wear around and maybe gain some interest. Once the shirt arrived I shared a picture of it on the subreddit again and got a *lot* of folks interested in the design. Not wanting to annoy the mods, I did not post a link where the shirt was for sale. Instead, I decided to DM each person who showed interested and provide them with a link to buy the shirt.

Not long after that, someone stole my design and posted it on another POD site. This person posted the link saying “In case anyone want this” and received a bunch of upvotes. I quickly replied to the comment saying it was a scam listing and it was not from my store.

The mods were quick to remove the link, however, the scammer decided to post it again. I reported that link again and it was also removed. Also, I filed a DMCA claim with the POD’s parent company that the content was infringing on my work.

The POD stated the item was only listed for a few days and I was worried that the listing would stay up for a long time. Luckily, the site responded to my request within 24 hours and the offending content was removed.

It’s incredibly frustrating to see someone steal your content and try to sell it in the same thread you are also trying to promote it. Whoever did it obviously has no shame. If you’re interested in grabbing the shirt from my Threadless shop, here is the link

Main Street Arts Sprawling Visions 2023

Sprawling Visions was the first exhibit for 2023 at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, NY. It ran from Jan 7th to Feb 22nd 2023. I had found them while looking for galleries that have open calls for art and hastily applied. At the time I was only doing digital glitches based on my black and white photography. One of the pieces was a photograph of an old red wagon and the other was taken at Ontario Beach Park.

At the time I was incredibly new to the art world. I hadn’t even branded on “Distorted Reality” yet and was still finding my way. I knew it was a bit of a long shot to get accepted, but there’s rarely any harm in trying. To my surprise, my work was accepted and this became the first art gallery to accept my work for display.

I had large format prints done by WhiteWall and when they came in I was completely in awe at the quality.

I made it to the opening of the show with my wife and milled around the gallery with the other artists and viewers. Seeing my work up on the wall, alongside other artists, was a complete surreal experience. Also, they have amazing bread.

I consider this a pivotal part of my artistic career and validation that what I am doing has wider appeal. Glitch art isn’t just a niche; it has a way to transform how we view the world and challenge perceptions of reality.

I’m actively working on submitting my pieces to other galleries and hope to expand my reach in the coming year. I want to thank Brad at MSA for giving my art an opportunity to be viewed by the public.

Digitizing the Glitch

When working with analog signal glitching, the resulting output is too corrupt for digital devices to understand. They will most often blank out and say lost signal, especially when the glitching becomes too extreme. In order to correct this, you need to use a device called a Time Base Corrector. This video on Youtube does a good job at explaining TBC and gives examples of some of the more popular ones.

Based on his recommendations, I was able to snag a Sima SFX9 off eBay. They’re rather hard to come by now, so I was happy to find one in working condition.

The SFX9 has some pretty cool features for video mixing. I got it setup going into my CRT first just to make sure it worked. Using the two channels, I created a loop for the glitching so that the dry signal went into Video1 and then used that to make the wet signal in Video2. This allows me to mix, wipe, and key the signal as an overlay.

I didn’t capture my initial tests but I was very happy with the results. The SFX9 has no apparent delay on the effects and it handles the glitching wonderfully. However, the resulting output is different from when I go straight into the CRT from my circuit bent equipment.

Analog glitch straight into the CRT
Analog glitch through the SFX9

Even with the differences, the ability to use the setup on digital devices such as projectors and digital capture cards, I’m happy with the trade off. This mixer gets me one step closer to performing live visuals.

Dall-e 2 and Glitching

Combining glitch art with the AI was only a matter of time. With my early experiments, I used the AI output through my glitching process. With Dall-E 2 producing incredibly photorealistic renderings, I decided to give it a try to produce glitched images.

Turns out Dall-E 2 can produce some really nice glitch images! Just adding the words “glitch, data mosh” to the prompt will get the AI to produce it. Combining those terms with “vaporwave” or “synthwave” can also produce some dynamic color ranges with a variety of distortions

In the limited time I spent experimenting, the resulting renderings were very stunning. In addition to creating glitch images, Dall-E 2 does a great job of generating variations on existing glitch images.

I’ve found myself using Dall-E 2 to produce variations of existing images more than I am using it to create new ones. While it is extremely powerful at image generation, the ability to make variations on existing images makes it stand out from any of the other text-to-image AI systems.