Poetic Interfaces - composing with the unexpected

"Noise is undesirable in engineering, but artists find glitch to be beautiful and revealing inner workings of the system." -- Zach Lieberman




The workshop involves different objects for the hands-on session, literally any method can be used to realize the works: participants are able to use any material to realize their conceptual plans. We are going to build prototypes, mockups and art pieces where glitch, errors and probability can take part in the compositional process. This can remind one to creative writing where sudden and unwanted events can shape the resulting process, thus a real conversation is induced between the work and te people who are creating and observing it.


Intro Lecture: Poetic Interfaces (Monday evening)

Brief Introduction (Tuesday, full day)

The role of error

  • definition and psychology of error
  • error in practice
  • glitch art

Rapid Prototyping 


  •    Text (internal, external textual representations: file contents, web packets etc)
  •    Applied environment (mouse, touch, controllers, etc)
  •    Natural environment (sensors, sound, computer vision)


  •    Analyzing
  •    Mapping 
  •    Timing (timeframes)
  •    Dealing with error


  •    Sound, Imagery, Lights, Physical objects

Mapping (Wednesday, full day)

  • Exploring the semantics and data of the interfaces
  • Events vs. continuous control
  • Default states
  • Physical properties of controllers
  • Gestures
  • Types of movement and control
  • Energy
  • Modal control
  • Mapping strategies
  • Handling errors

Working on individual projects (Thursday, full day)

Evaluation / Presentation (Friday morning)


On each afternoon we have time to brainstorm and discuss individual project ideas. Throughout the course we are going to draw, sketch some ideas using paper and pens. Some of these will be also translated to code prototype and/or some sort of documentation depending on the projects. We are going to use free & open source tools Processing & Pure Data & Arduino for our exploration.

Recommended reading & web resources

DADA and Chance - http://www.arthistoryunstuffed.com/dada-and-chance/
Glitch Art resources - http://phillipstearns.wordpress.com/glitch-art-resources/
It's not a bug - http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/oct/25/rise-of-glitch-art
Aesthetics of Failure - http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors3/casconetext.html
Ten Principles of Zen - http://www.drnataliemasson.com/TenPrinciples.html
Critical Engineering Manifesto - http://criticalengineering.org/
Analog in Digital out - http://brendandawes.com/projects/analogindigitalout

Published on  November 15th, 2013