Strategically Wrong

Performance by Curt Cloninger

Lately my attention has been directed to the spirited commotion coming out of Chicago’s glitch community. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Briz, Paul Hertz, and Jon Satrom for Furtherfield: Wrong Ways Prevail.

It turns out that in glitch “credo,” there is a “right” way to do the “wrong” thing, or perhaps it’s a “wrong” way to doing it “right.” I’m not sure we ever got it straight, but never mind, the point is clear: glitch revels in the “wrong,” bringing the accidents, mishaps, and aberrations of the artistic process to the surface. Isn’t that what we inadvertently do all the time? But it now occurs to me this use of “wrongness” can actually be a powerful strategy for exploring the possibilities of indeterminacy: much in the way that John Cage used chance technique to undermine the expected and the habitual.

If doing it right is a first way, and doing it wrong is a second way, then doing it wrong the right away (or perhaps the other way around) represents a third way that explodes everything into entirely new territory. It is in this territory of the “strategic wrong” where we find glitch.

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That said, I invite you to make your own assessment of Wrong Ways Prevail. Perhaps in our sleek, high-tech world of precision-guided new media technology, when a faulty new operating system represents imminent disaster, we can look to the glitch artists for inspiration and guidance in their sublime path down the wrong way (or is it the right way….).