When you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a visual technique that really makes you sit up and take notice. ‘Datamoshing’ with its seriously terrible moniker, hit the mainstream recently with the new Kayne West ‘Welcome to heartbreak’ video.  It breaks in from black into this riot of colour that is so blocky and compressed you think that youtube is actually broken. But it isn’t. It is the intent of the director who employs this techique of glitching out the video and blending the motion together to create something quite mesmerising.


But this effect isn’t new. It is very very very old. If you’ve every played a divx video without the right codec installed, you get these compression artifacts because your computer doesn’t understand how to render the video.  I’ve seen it many times when you skip through a video and the frames start to ‘blend’ together, but never investigated if some bright spark had applied it in some creative way. Well, with the Kayne video coming to light, a lot of the design blogs are point towards David OReilly as being one of the first artists/directors to intentionally glitch video.


After immersing myself in the world of compression glitching I’m really loving how this technique instantly puts you on edge and unsettles you.  Taking it further and glitching the edits or blowing the compression so much you can’t actually tell what you are looking at really makes you look harder. A brilliant way to subvert the medium.


Chairlift – Evident Utenstil




Angy Kitty

References –

Shape + Colour

Create Digital Motion


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