Digital image from digital photograph
I have recently been exploring the Glitch Art movement, a term used for the creation of artwork through inducing "glitches" while reading digital files. For James Allard's birthday card I began with the photograph he uses for his profile picture (taken by Mark Hurrell), opened the JPEG in a text editor then copied and pasted text from his Facebook profile into the code that made up the image. This was the result of opening it in the image preview software of Windows 7. I had to save it again in order for other software to recognise it as a valid rather than corrupt file.
The interesting thing about this is that what you see above is not the glitch itself, but a documentary record of the glitch - like a photograph of an event. The glitch occurs during the act of opening the file, and the result will vary depending on the software and operating system of the computer etc.
A glitch also serves as a reminder of the fact that you are not looking at a landscape with figures and an electricity pylon, but a collection of different coloured pixels on a computer screen which have been arranged in a certain way, and could be laid out in a totally different way. A bit like Magritte's painting "The Treachery of Images".
For more on Glitch Art I recommend Rosa Menkman's blog, Sunshine in my Throat.