Glitch aesthetics are used across art-media as a method of embracing the accidental, the haphazard, the broken, the defective, and the unintended. According to artist Scott Fitzgerald in The Art of the Glitch, “glitch art is a way of taking these fractures in existing systems and examining them in a way that tries to make sense of them.”
Drawing from a broad history of automobile artworks, our intention for CARBON COPY is to transform an unremarkable suburban car into a monument to Edmonton’s car-centric culture, and a glitch in our regular understanding of everyday life. A re-appropriated kijiji car (a Plymouth Caravelle) will be hand-cut and stretched, warped and reconstituted, shaped into a new form simulating digital glitch aesthetics.
Our irregular form is derived from a “rolling shudder smear,” based on scanner manipulations created by sliding an image across the scanner bed while it’s being copied. Literally flattening a 3D car into a 2D photograph, printing the image, scanning it, and re-creating the 2D image as a 3D sculpture, CARBON COPY will re-interpret digital information back into physical form using the raw materiality of an automobile.
There is a triple-simulation from 3D to 2D and back again, offering a metaphor for contemporary culture where information is interpreted, re-interpreted, and misinterpreted in a constant cycle (and re-cycle) of technology, media, and digital space. Within this complex landscape, glitches and aberrations are sometimes re-absorbed, moving beyond their genesis to become something new, separate, and previously unimaginable – a broken mirror image of their origins.
Evolving from wordplay, the name CARBON COPY references both the scanner-glitch aesthetic of a digital copy, and the carbon footprint of owning a car. To viewers, the artwork offers a playful half-joke: located on the edge of a parking lot, above a parkade, bordering a burger restaurant, and a car-friendly shopping district, CARBON COPY is an apt expression of unreality within an automobile-centered culture.