Glitch Poetics

by Nathan Jones


Glitches are errors where the digital bursts or creeps into our everyday lives as fragmented image, garbled text and aberrant event. Today, when computational technology is integrated ever more closely into bodies and social structures, glitches are considered by artists and companies alike as critical and commercial opportunities, revealing tears in the real-virtual binary. Glitch has also increasingly become a metaphor for understanding the political and ecological shocks the world pushes into the mediasphere each day. In Glitch Poetics Nathan Jones shows how contemporary writers and artists are integrating the glitch as a literary effect, an affective critique and a realist reflection, at a time characterised by breakage, corruption and crisis.

Based on a range of close readings of contemporary literature by writers including Linda Stupart, Sam Riviere, Keston Sutherland, Ben Lerner, Caroline Bergvall, Erica Scourti, David Peace and the internet novelists, and drawing on theories of error, shock, glitch, critical posthumanism and code, Jones lays the groundwork for writing that can productively engage in the new situation for literature in the context of AI, the Anthropocene and the post-digital age. His book articulates the working of error in literary and media practice at the horizon of human and machine language.

Download Nathan Jones’ book of poems: On the Point of Tearing and Disintegrating Uncontrollably.

Author Bio

Nathan Jones is Lecturer in Fine Art (Digital Media) at Lancaster University. Exploring the dynamic relationship between the newest media, language and the art discourse, he has written and made artworks about unicode, blockchain, speed readers and peer-to-peer networks. He is also a co-founder (with Sam Skinner) of Torque Editions, whose publications include Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain (2017) and The Act of Reading (2015), and exhibitions with Tate, Furtherfield and FACT, Liverpool.