Memphis has a new addition to its small but interesting constellation of house galleries. On every night except the last Friday of the month (e.g. Trolley Night), it is the home of painter Adam Farmer and roommates. On final Fridays, it becomes GLITCH.
I moved back to Memphis from a five-year stint in NYC at the beginning of July. While I was schlepping among the Brooklyn schleppers, attending storefront gallery openings and back room specialty cinema clubs, it seemed like everybody was talking about glitch art.
Glitch art is imaging created in a software malfunction. Has your browser ever frozen on a half-loaded image? Have you ever watched satellite television during a rainstorm? If so, you have seen glitches.
Glitch art plays out when artists insert different x-factors into an algorithm, creating visual effects that at rational variance with an initial formula. Artists intentionally jam data in different ways. The results look modernist (picture bar codes crossed with static? Maybe just picture static) but are post-modernist. Critics throw around the term “post-human.” There’s a definite lack of humanity in the pixellated, scratch-tape successes of the genre.
Glitch Gallery, this past Friday, was more psychedelic than post-human. The show/event, “Fur load” featured wall-to-wall murals, installations, projections, stuffed animal drink tables, and VHS viewing rooms. Two bands, Spoiler Alert and Leolin, played sets.
Farmer’s painting, prominently featured, has a lot of human feeling. He has a recognizable, man-not-a-machine style that has made him one of Memphis’s best young painters. Other work in the show had similar grounding in human reality: Leanna Hicks collaborated with sex workers on an installation of tchotchkes and photographs. Lance Turner assembled an image of a young woman’s face out of hundreds of pictures of cats.
The gallery (or house, or piece, or show) will happen once monthly, and according to its creators, will be a manipulation of last Friday’s initial work. The murals, the installations and the music will all evolve— or, in perhaps, malfunction. The gallery will earn its name. It will get glitched.
Glitch Gallery is located at 2180 Cowden Avenue. Next month's event will take place on August 30th, and will feature live music and new work by Memphis artists.