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Glitch Movies by Michael Betancourt

2012 - 2017, 75 minutes, USA

English, 16:9, color / stereo, Blu-Ray zones ABC

ISBN 9780979321535

$20 Blu-Ray only - order it here

$50 Blu-Ray bundle with Institutional/Educational presentation license - order it here


"Going Somewhere is frequently breathtakingly beautiful.... In Betancourt's hands, datamoshing becomes a form of cultural resistance. Instead of utilizing the smooth, illusionistic motion of digital cinema which you would typically see in a commercial movie theater, he deliberately pulls apart the codes and exploits its errors to deconstruct the movies and show us how they do their tricks. He pulls apart the narrative tropes of Sci Fi at the same time that he literally pulls apart the pictures, pixel by pixel, creating a radically open form which resists the hypnotic myth-making of Hollywood."
- David Finkelstein

"The glitch creates abrupt insertions and interferences, with intrusive fragments of images that seem out of place or come from other moments, earlier or later, belonging to the same narrative. Through the failure, whether fortuitous or induced, the trick is exposed; we still perceive movement, but we understand that it is only real in our mind."
- Jose Manuel Garcia Perera



 

Art, AI and Culture

by Michael Betancourt

Paperback, 116 pages, full color illustrations

ISBN 9780979321542

$18.95 - order it from amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million


About this book:

Art, AI and Culture interrogates the aesthetic heritage of Modernism as it informs contemporary cultural applications of AI which demonstrate there is no escape from the kaleidoscopic lineage of colonialism where the status of "human" and all the rights that entails were withheld from the colonized in general, and from slaves, labor, and women specifically. This analysis theorizes the social identity threat posed by AI's challenges to existing social, cultural, political, and economic orders. Digital technology is not exempt from this historical lineage that transforms familiar questions of economic displacement caused by machine learning and digital automation into new battles in an on-going conflict over social status and position. This cultural approach to AI reveals the ways that it transforms expressions of identity, leisure and luxury into opportunities for profit extraction. Social phenomena, (including racism, sexism, and nationalism), capture individuals in a web of systemic control where digital automation provides a mechanism preserving the existing hierarchies and social status that it might otherwise challenge. Drawing on a reconception of capitalism as a proxy for social status and position, this study critiques of the fantasy that replacing all human labor will create a fully automated luxury utopia without bias, oppression, or social change.



 

The Instaglitch Project

by Michael Betancourt

Paperback, 112 pages, 52 full color illustrations

ISBN 9780979321528

$29.95 - order it from amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million


About this book:

This book presents a selection of 52 full color images from Michael Betancourt's "Instaglitch Project" that exploited the aberrant and unheimlich results of image handling and processing by the Instagram photosharing app-it derived novel examples of Glitch Art from the faults inherent to the iPhone system. This project uses these inconsistencies as a mechanism for aesthetic creation that provides evidence for the fantasy of control that the "walled garden" of apps create. The development of the Instaglitch offers a counter to this hegemonic ideology via a studio practice that exploits the Instagram app's very limited 'degrees of freedom' without altering the app itself or employing less restrictive software. These works are examples of how repeated processing and 'filtering' of the same image within the same system-a feedback loop-magnifies the instabilities inherent in its operations. The 2,600 works in this series of static images demonstrates programmatic failures that are masked by its normal use, but are systemic instabilities-their identification allowed me to generate works by manipulating their impacts on a blank (white) image.



 

Research Art:
     glitches, poetics, typography and the aura of the digital

by Michael Betancourt

Paperback, 112 pages, 21 full color illustrations

ISBN 9780979321504

$24.95 - order it from amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million


About this book:

Research Art is about margins and marginality in the art world as sources for critical engagements in the studio. It builds on the pioneering work of critical theorist and artist Michael Betancourt, who has used glitches as an integral part of his art since the early 1990s. This book presents his thinking about his own work linking theory and practice in a larger context of conceptual and theoretical concerns that are neither a statement of intentions, nor merely a subjective series of claims about past accomplishments. This book discusses his digital glitch movies, typoetry, abstract photography, and the Instaglitch series as direct examples of the connections between theory and practice, illuminating his proposal for 'Research Art' as a domain equal to the 'Business Art' familiar from exhibitions in the gallery-fair-museum network. Polemical and often challenging, it explores the role of expectations in making and interpreting art from the vantage point of the studio, rather than as a critic or historian, arguing that "Research Art" is the evolution of the critical position developed by Conceptual Art and Situationalism as the avant-garde program in art came to an end, an adaptation to the changed Contemporary reality of AI, globalization, and digital technology, an oppositional art made in the shadows of digital capitalism.



 

Portfolio:
     a compendium of movies and statics, 1990-2021

by Michael Betancourt

Paperback, 212 pages

ISBN 9780979321511

$34.95 - order it from amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or Books-a-Million


About this book:

This Portfolio of works produced between 1990 and 2021 is the companion to the book Research Art by Michael Betancourt. It is a full color chronological documentation of movies, statics and social installations. This concise summary reveals a diverse practice addressing how media history, digital technology, and capitalist ideology inform studio practice. At once very specific, the work collected here reveals a consistent and coherent aesthetic realized by an artist who self-consciously placed himself on the margin of the art world as a way to achieve critical distance. Showing both representative stills and documentary information, this Portfolio reveals the constant concerns with critical praxis that unify Betancourt's various projects.



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