I’m a big fan of imagery produced from mistakes, accidents, glitches and other random acts. As a student I messed around with the accidental results photocopiers could produce, and now I still abuse scanners to randomly warp and distort images.

Most recently I have been looking into Datamoshing and Databending as part of a Kerb project – both are terms for deliberately corrupting images or video.

Glitching out images and video has been going on for as long as there were images and video to glitch out – nowadays a new wave of creative types are jumping on this lo-fi/glitch bandwagon, and as movements grow and get popular they get labels, so now we have Databend and Datamosh.

Below are a few results from using a HEX editor (I have been using Hex Fiend for the Mac) to manipulate the code of a JPEG image. The first image is the uncorrupted original, a cross-processed photo I took in Spain using an LC-A,  the following five images have been corrupted by randomly replacing characters, copy and pasting chunks of code, and cutting chunks of code entirely.


Original JPEG image

Corrupted JPEG 01

Corrupted JPEG 02

Corrupted JPEG 03


The two examples below are quite extreme, almost completely destroying the original image. This was achieved by running ‘search and replace’ on the code. I randomly chose a glyph which I swapped out for another randomly chosen glyph.


Corrupted JPEG 04

Corrupted JPEG 05


As you can see some quite crazy and random results occur from just some colour change to the outright destruction of the original image.

Below are a couple of examples of glitch art that I have seen recently that take these techniques and create something interesting. The examples below are a video created by using a load of corrupted still images, and still images created by corrupting video.

Here is the video using corrupted JPEG’s. Created by my old Creative Director at Lateral Simon Crab. Apparently it took him a long time… (he did the audio as well)



Here are some freaky beautiful portraits created by deliberately corrupting video, produced by Jared Leistner:


Portrait by Jared Leistner

Portrait by Jared Leistner

Portrait by Jared Leistner