2019 | Glitch Art | Adobe Illustration | Python

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Absdiff(Absolute difference) is a series of natural pixelated, glitchy images and screenshots collected from my phone and laptop, interprets the pure aesthetics of errors of the image encoding process. I've been getting many glitchy images this year without knowing the theory of glitch art nor image encoding process. Those randomly generated glitches amaze me with their unpredictable color patterns, and ask me the question:

"What is the undiscovered underlying structure of a digital image?"

 Above glitch arts are from those images, can you recognize them?

The Body

The Cloud

The Hill

The Crown

Portrait #1

Portrait #2

A ghost of computional process,
a happy mistakes of 0 & 1,
a primitive machine-machine interaction.

Until this October, I started to observe carefully on those image files, realized they all have something in common - they're subtly pixelated screenshots. After I discovered the pattern of randomly pixelated images, I developed a method to create pixelated screenshots through digital photography, and import them to Adobe Illustrator; the software will remap the screenshots and automatically generate an absolute different glitch art.


Use mobile phone to capture the photo on the screen of laptop. Get close to capture the pixelated pattern, then scrensshot this photo again.


Open the screenshot in Adobe Illustrator.The software will automatically generate a glitch image.


Export and save the glitch art.

The ambiguous space between the human-machine relationship, and the hierarchy change of technology and its observers, operators, and creators, overlap my ideology of animism from Asia culture, where people believe all creatures are endowed with souls, no matter they are living being or machines. Without applying any effect or filter to those images, in other words, no human decision about designing glitchy patterns, this practice demonstrates the potential of producing artistic images through a critical observation on computers while questioning the artist's agency of creating artworks using supermatic technology. Whats trigger Adobe Illustrator to generate glitch images is still unknown. Could this insanity be considered the awakening of consciousness of my macbook?

"Could machine produces a ghost?"