International art exhibit at Granite Falls gallery showcases the beauty of glitches
"Glitch Art is Dead," an international art exhibit on display at the K.K. Berge Gallery in Granite Falls, is showcasing the very modern art of glitch art. Glitch art sees the beauty in the everyday glitches of today's technology. The exhibit is being held in conjunction with the Prairie Fyre music and art mini festival in Wood Lake.
GRANITE FALLS — Glitches in technology, whether it is the picture from a scratched DVD freezing or a computer screen suddenly covered in squiggly lines, aren't usually defined as beautiful, thought-provoking or creative. At best, they are a quick nuisance or, at worst, the unmistakable sign of a failing electronic. That is, unless you are able to see the beauty within the distortion and annoyance.
"Glitch art is a lot about chaos; it is a lot about discovery," said glitch artist Miles Taylor of Wood Lake. "The joy is discovering something that went wrong but looks really cool."
Taylor is the head of the organization team that is bringing the international celebration of glitch art, called "Glitch Art is Dead," to Granite Falls. The exhibit, at the K.K. Berge Gallery in Granite Falls, will bring dozens of pieces of glitch art to southwestern Minnesota. Earlier exhibits have taken place in Poland, Minneapolis, Paris and Croatia.
The Granite Falls show will include 60 mounted still pieces, short videos and films to be displayed on a wall of televisions, an interactive computer display and several art installations.
"We have 100 artists from all over the world in the exhibit," Taylor said.
The exhibit opening is from 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 2 at the gallery. There will be a 7 p.m. interview and question and answer session with Rob Sheridan, who worked as the art director for Nine Inch Nails. Some of his art will also be on display. There will also be live music by Stormy from 8 to 10 p.m.
The celebration of glitch art will continue through the week. Workshops will take place Sept. 3-4, and the exhibit will be open through Sept. 10 during the gallery's regular hours. Those interested in attending the workshops can contact the organizers through the group's Facebook page .
"Our community is all about open source and everything being as free to everybody as possible," Taylor said. "The exhibit is free and open to everyone."
When Taylor first started to plan for a glitch art exhibit in Granite Falls, he imagined something small — a way to introduce his community to this niche art medium. Instead, as more and more artists said they would be coming to Granite Falls, the exhibit ended up turning into something much bigger.
The glitch art community, while international, is small in comparison to other types of art, Taylor said, and usually only sees each other during these in-person exhibits.
"Because of COVID and lockdown, there wasn't a lot of traveling and our community couldn't hang out," Taylor said. "This is the first bigger, physical thing that happened, so people are saying 'I'm coming.' "
This close group of artists and fans like to deliberately destroy or manipulate technology to create glitches, which in turn become the art on display. Glitch can be colorful, bizarre, random and weird, Taylor said. While a glitch for the most part might create just a lot of boring static, the skill involved is being able to capture that one second of beauty.
"You'll get a moment when it kind of looks like an impressionist painting," Taylor said.
Glitch art can definitely be described as modern art, since it really didn't get its start until technology began to take over everyday life. Without consumer electronics, the art in glitches might never have been appreciated.
"Technology is much more readily available to consumers, which also means it fails more. So people are running into glitches more," Taylor said.
Glitch art isn't well-known by the mainstream art community and Taylor wasn't sure how the region would react to it. It doesn't look like he needed to worry. The Granite Area Arts Council has welcomed the glitch artists with open arms, Taylor said, and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council awarded "Glitch Art is Dead" a significant grant to help hold the workshops.
"Because our community is so small and we do this very bizarre form that isn't seen often, we are used to throwing shows and exhibits with a few hundred dollars," Taylor said. "They awarded us $7,000."
In addition to his work with glitch art, Taylor is also the driving force behind the music festival known as Prairie Fyre. It was first held in 2019, came back in 2021 and will be celebrating its third festival Sept. 3-4 at Taylor's farm site in Wood Lake.
"It's a big party," Taylor said.
Prairie Fyre brings together a wide variety of different artists, groups and shows. At this year's festival, there will be drag and burlesque shows, stand-up comedy, beat poetry and spoken word along with music performances from techno, hip-hop, funk groups and more.
Tickets for Prairie Fyre range in price for $35 for a day pass to $100 for a weekend camping pass. They can be purchased at www.prairiefyre.org . More information about camping and the amenities provided can be found on the website.
Taylor said he is expecting 150 to 200 people, which is just fine with him. He doesn't want it to turn into too big of an event that people can't enjoy it. This means ticket sales could be shut down if too many people want to attend. Updates will be posted on the event's website, along with its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Open to all
Taylor wants Prairie Fyre and the glitch art exhibit to be a welcoming and open experience for all people, no matter who they are or what their background is. He hopes to hold safe, comfortable and successful events that anyone can enjoy.
"I love bringing these things back here," Taylor said, as a way to bring new experiences to his rural home.
Perhaps visitors will meet and interact with different types of people and start erasing some of the cultural divides facing the country and local region. Taylor believes if there more opportunities like Prairie Fyre and "Glitch Art is Dead" available, perhaps modern life wouldn't seem so, well, glitchy.
"Parties are a great way to solve a lot of social issues," Taylor said. "If you are having a good time with someone else that is not like you, that is going to go a lot further towards helping people see that we are all fundamentally the same people and want the same thing."