The glitch has become totally synonymous with digital work, helping to define the popular understanding of digital (read: contemporary) aesthetics. As usual, Kanye was there fairly early on.
3D animation will always have to contend with render sampling artefacts, but camera-based filmmakers face similar problems. We all spend hours attempting to remove digital noise from our content only to reintroduce that noise when we compress it for the web or broadcast. Anyone working with film or animation software knows how seriously we take fidelity, bit depth, colour space and sampling rates. To work commercially, you need to know how to control and eradicate digital noise in all its forms, and there are a lot of forms to eradicate. Clients don’t accept noise in their promos and directors don’t accept noise in their visual effects - just like they wouldn’t accept their new Ferrari is it came with a mottled grain. Digital creators are held to the same standards as heavy industries like carbuilding. (what a great excuse to link to a fantastic Hans Zimmer track of the same name).
In contrast and perhaps response to these commercial demands for seamlessness, there’s a brave new territory that extends and deepens the principles of glitch aesthetics and it’s marked out by subtlety. It’s noise. Noise is the sort of stuff that clients would hate. Noise makes you want to rub your eyes and clean your screen. I liken it to weft and weave and warp in textiles. Have a look at the following and see if you know what I mean. Let me know if you see anything similar and I’ll add it here.
Firstly, Ectopic by Zeitguised incorporates the sort of downsampling noise that might come from buffering, but is actually part of the video itself.
Next, Prismatic Planes by Alex McLeod uses techniques I don’t even understand to introduce a really subtle glitch effect that is so embedded in the film that it becomes part of it’s texture (update: Robert Seidel informs me that Alex uses retiming to get these effects).
Finally, The North Sea Riviera by Josh Wedlake incorporates sampler noise from 3D animation software to great effect - using it like film grain or radio static to create a wonderful atmosphere.