Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Tara Westermann


2010, Oil on canvas, 36"w x 24"h

Living in a culture characterized by interaction with digital technologies, I often encounter glitches on a daily basis: broken Internet connection, radio static, frozen television channels. In this particular case, the image captured comes from a digitally-communicative source. Skype and iChat are video-conferencing computer programs that I use to maintain long-distance relationships. The technology is remarkable, but far from perfect. Glitches occur frequently. Pixels follow the motion across the screen, unveiling artificially generated colors, shapes and patterns. Forms are stretched, facial features become elongated and deformed, while others are blurred or erased. Data that does not transfer through the motion reveals holes in its place. These moments only last for a few seconds, but I am able to capture them as a screen shot. These screen shots enable me to record the glitch as static, to immobilize the movement causing them. I explore the glitch in my work as an investigation of the consequences of time, and motion through it, in the digital medium. A time-lag in connection speed provides the conditions for a glitch to occur, and motion creates the image as the digital data stream attempts to keep up with quick movements. This combination of time-lag and motion manifests visually as the glitched images I use as sources for my paintings.

Tara Westermann - Caught

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