DOMENICO BARRA
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HDM

Domenico Barra

Low resolution, High vision. Glitch is the event. Pixel is the element. My aesthetics is to be found in the realm of machines failures where I interpret the glitch in various environments and digital styles. The error. The limit. The unexpected. The diversity. The fragility. The imperfection. The vulnerability. Departing from these grounds of elaboration, I develop my research and practice on various topics related to temporality, functionality, accessibility, opportunity, the influence of new technologies, design and politics, have on human relations in terms of interactions and values, in the relation human and machine, with a focus on networks and community, behaviors and languages, memory and identity, how those contribute in the evolution of a new world, society, human, their conception and perception through machines, individuals new self-awareness. My works have appeared on many sites and magazines including Motherboard, Bullet Magazine, Hyperallergic, Monopol, Observer, Artribune, Exibart, Widewalls and Digicult. I am listed in the second volume publication about art and technology promoted by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. I took part in many curatorial projects, my works exhibited at the DAM Gallery in Berlin, at the Media Center in New York, at the Galerie Charlot in Paris, at the Digital Art Center in Taipei, online at World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO], at the Central Academy of Fine Arts [CAFA] in Beijing, at the MediaLAB of the University of Brasilia, at the Wrong Biennale and in many other galleries and cultural art events worldwide, and also included in academic talks and lectures at international institutes and universities. I directed the organization of the first Glitch Art group show in Italy, Tactical Glitches, curated by Rosa Menkman & Nick Briz. In 2016 I was among the artists invited by the School of Art Institute of Chicago [SAIC] for its 150th anniversary where I gave a lecture and a public talk about piracy pratices, the impact of the internet and digital media on the production, distribution and consumption of NSFW materials. I am part of the curatorial projects of Sedition Gallery, ELEMENTUM and Snark.Art. I collaborated with the MoCDA Museum, Hard Disk Museum and The Wrong Biennale. I teach glitch art and dirty new media at the Rome University of Fine Art [RUFA] and I give lectures and presentations about glitch art and related topics at academies, schools and festivals. I am the creator of the online art network and community White Page Gallery/s.

Artwork details:

Title: 09/09

Description: On the 9th September 2017 it was the 70th anniversary of the founding and recording of the first computer bug, an actual bug, a moth, found inside a Harvard Mark II electromechanical computer in the Harvard Faculty at the Computation Laboratory. The discovery was made by the operators of the Naval Weapons Laboratory that kept the bug with a notation “First actual case of bug being found.” It was then that computer pioneer Grace Hopper recorded in the book log the event using the word “bug” and actually taping the insect on the note turning that record in an incredible and unique trace of the first computer bug. Computer bugs are also known as errors or glitches.

I was born on 35 years later this incredible discovery and on the 9th September 2017 it was my 35th birthday. As a dirty new media artist working with glitches I wished to celebrate my birthday and the discovery of the first computer bug creating my first project for the HardDiskMuseum.

The project, of course, is glitch based. I exploited a bug in the Instagram app on my Samsung J5 to create a collection of 333 (3+3+3+=9) images of my glitch portrait and of the photo of the actual note record of the computer bug discovery that includes the actual insect.

The bug in the Instagram app is in the album/slide feature of the app. When I create an album on the Instagram app and the pictures are automatically saved on my smart phone memory, sometimes the pictures part of the album get saved as one photo and this glitch results in a glitched image. I have repeated this process more than 100 times, often forcing the app to crash to increase the chances to produce the glitch. I forced the crash stopping the internet connection of the phone while the pictures were uploading on Instagram. I switched from Wi-Fi to 4G so that there were different frequencies involved in the process and create different glitches and different images. Also, the quality of the pictures was deteriorating every time I uploaded the images to Instagram as the app was encoding the photo from the device encoding to its own every time. I discovered this bug some days before the 9th of September when I noticed some pictures on my smart phone Instagram album that were glitched and then worked it out taking note of the event every time it happened but especially when I finally recognized in one photo traces of another photo present in the same Instagram album.

The project aims to highlight how a bug can be exploited for creative processes and become an opportunity for creating an art project and consequently show the importance of digital conservation to preserve digital art and take care of the fragility of image file formats.

Fileformat: JPG

Year: 2017

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