Dancing Glitch



While I was looking for visual inspirations in relation with the video part of my work, I discovered some amazing works done by Michael Betancourt. Alongside his work as critical and film theorist, as writer and film historian, he created an incredible body of work as visual and new-media artist, also focusing on the use of music and glitch in his experiments.

About his Glitch series, José Manuel García Perera wrote: “Betancourt’s investigation proposes a new kinetic art that becomes critical through error, mimics the real-time movement that contemporary culture demands, and uncovers the artificiality of images that mimic reality as if they wanted to replace it” (García Perera, 2016) and I found interesting the fact that the use of what is usually considered as a technical error can become integral part of the piece of art itself, an element consciously employed.

Michael Betancourt, Dancing Glitch, USA, uploaded on Michael Betancourt’s Vimeo official profile in 2013. ©Michael Betancourt, 2013.

This is a 2.5-minute duration video in which the artist combined the original footage of Louis Lumière’s film “Danse serpentine, vue no. 76”, created in 1896 in collaboration with the famous American dancer and choreographer Loïe Fuller and his Glitch technique. Linked to the score he used to recreate sounds that could enhance the visual impact of his work, he employed a process that is “a variation on the idea of “feedback” where the output of one stage becomes material to be glitched, manipulated and then mixed back into the original raw material” (Betancourt on Otherzine, 2013).

The final result is fascinating and surreal, it involves the viewer on a conceptual, emotional and intellectual level, asking him to re-analyse his idea of error.

Personally speaking, it created an immediate visceral reaction in me, it spoke directly to my inner-self and I felt it representative of something that is inside my soul waiting to emerge. This is that kind of visual reference that make me want to improve as video-maker in order to acquire those skills necessary to better represent what I still can’t express at the moment. That waving, floating figure, covered by a layer that recreate the idea of the corruption of an image, a complete distortion, perfectly represent who I am and my aim is to become able to be seen as myself on an artistic level.



Betancourt Michael, Dancing Glithc, 2013, USA, video released on Batancourt’s official Vimeo account “Cinegraphic” https://vimeo.com/cinegraphic

Betancourt Michael, Official Website http://michaelbetancourt.com/

Betancourt Michael, The Process of Eupraxis in Making Dancing Glitch, on Otherzine, issue #32, Spring 2013 http://www.othercinema.com/otherzine/the-process-of-eupraxis-in-making-dancing-glitch-2013/

García Perera José Manuel, El movimiento como simulacro en el mundo virtual: Michael Betancourt y el arte de la inmediatez. Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, Serie VII – Historia del Arte no. 4, 2016, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, pp. 143-158.

Lumière Louis, Danse serpentine, vue no. 76, 25th November 1896, Lumière Brothers, Paris, France.

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