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    Towards a Glossary of Terms

    This is not necessarily only for Glitch alone, but for related practices both preceding and concurrent with Glitch Art.  To cast as wide a net as possible, I’m going to propose that this glossary of terms be generated from the discussion concerning practices related to the use of extended techniques for electronics and electronic media.

    The meaning of words and their definitions are like quantum states.  Uncertainty, duality, and entanglement are terms that can be applied the complexities of the language we use to describe Glitch and related cultural practices.  What exactly are those terms that we use to describe what we do?  Where do these come from?  How have the meanings changed over time?  How do these terms function in the context of the practice and its perception beyond the community?  It’s my hope that this thread will produce a comprehensive, continually refreshed, lexicon that can exist as a fluid catalog of thought concerning Glitch.  The thread is participatory.  In addition to compiling a cloud of key terms we will pull together both published definitions and working definition, explore the histories of the terms, a range of possible alternate meanings, as well as talk about issues of how to best present the work done here.

    As a matter of format, we’ll start with a thread compiling terms (without definitions), to generate an idea cloud.
    Next, we’ll attempt to pool together definitions, etymology, history of use.
    At this point we’ll look for any emerging patterns and consult a range of organizational strategies for compiling and presenting our findings.

    Terms will naturally span disciplines and histories of usage will produce hybrid meanings and definitions.  It’s my hope that we can find a way to give a form to the evolution of the terms we use and provide a place for us to track the flux of the lexicon concerning our overlapping practices moving forward.



    I am very interested in this, I suppose its gonna be an index at the beginning, what about visual representation also?

    Key Master

    I wonder how to take this further. I think its easy to make a collection of words that need specific definitions, but how are we going to define these, and when? And how do you create the awareness about these ambiguous words?

    Last year Iman Moradi and I made a glitch b/lingo, which was a call for awareness to the non-critical usage of not well defined or bastardization of certain terms within the glitch and noise (art) communities and practices. It included words such as affect and effect, or transgression and politics.

    The B/Lingo cards were printed in the 20111 Reader[ror]:

    “A festival, even one about glitches, cannot exist without expectations and playable frameworks. But it is important to be aware of these frameworks.” – One of these frameworks is the (theoretical) language we use.

    Glitch B/Lingo by Iman Moradi and Rosa MenkmanGlitch B/Lingo by Iman Moradi and Rosa Menkman

    I did something similar during Video Vortex in March this year (2011) together with Laura Schuster and Anne Helmond , as small intervention I distributed bingo cards during the breaks of the event

    Vortex Bingo
    On multiple occasions I have been asking for peoples definitions of these words they use quite freely.  I am interested in making a glossary of terms, but do realize that maybe certain words slip meanings within other practices. So how can we tackle this problem? Wiki? Or maybe build a wicktionary in the GLI.TC/H Wiki?



    • This reply was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by rosa_menkman rosa_menkman.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by rosa_menkman rosa_menkman.


    I like the B/lingo cards and approach.  I imagine that we might be able to generate terms and definitions and then tag related terms or find some architecture where definitions don’t necessarily have a single word that they define, perhaps these are more akin to descriptions.  A description may be tagged with certain words.  Sort of an inversion of a glossary or collection of terms and their definitions.  Here we could have a cloud of both and have the connections between them be the area of focus.


    “The essential quality of poetry is that it makes a new effort of attention, and ‘discovers’ a new world within the known world. Man, and the animals, and the flower, all live within a strange and forever surging chaos. The chaos which we have got used to, we call a cosmos. The unspeakable inner chaos of which we are composed we call consciousness, and mind, and even civilization. But it is, ultimately, chaos, lit up by visions. Just as the rainbow may or may not light up the storm. And, like the rainbow, the vision perisheth.

    But man cannot live in chaos. The animals can. To the animal, all is chaos, only there are a few recurring motions and aspects within the surge. And the animal is content. But man is not. Man must wrap himself in a vision, make a house of apparent form and stability, fixity. In his terror of chaos, he begins by putting up an umbrella between himself and the everlasting chaos. Then he paints the underside of his umbrella like a firmament. Then he parades around, lives, and dies under his umbrella. Bequeathed to his descendants, the umbrella becomes a dome, a vault, and men at last begin to feel that something is wrong.

    Man fixes some wonderful erection of his own between himself and the wild chaos, and gradually goes bleached and stifled under his parasol. Then comes a poet, enemy of convention, and makes a slit in the umbrella; and lo! the glimpse of chaos is a vision, a window to the sun. But after a while, getting used to the vision, and not liking the genuine draught from chaos, commonplace man daubs a simulacrum of the window that opens onto chaos, and patches the umbrella with the painted patch of the simulacrum. That is, he has got used to the vision, it is part of his house-decoration. So that the umbrella at last looks like a glowing open firmament, of many aspects. But alas, it is all simulacrum, in innumerable patches. Homer and Keats, annotated and with glossary.”
    - DH Lawrence, Introduction to Harry Crosby’s Chariot of the Sun

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