Using random destruction in art is no new concept, but applied to the coding of digital files, it can create fascinating results. The practice of messing with digital files in this way is known broadly as Glitch Art, and it has been around for quite a while, but has obviously surged in popularity in our current age. I have attempted to get it to work before, but I was getting unreadable files, and didn't have Notebook++ installed (this helps). But I managed! I present my first successful glitchy experiments:
Want to try this? Simply open the image you want to manipulate in notepad and add/delete lines of the code. Don't delete too much or it will get too corrupt and won't be read as an image any more. Save, then open as an image again, and you should have a strangely fragmented, coloured, or collaged version of the original image. You can do it with audio and video recordings, too the same method pretty much applies. This video might be useful to anyone wanting to start using this technique.
This one was made by inserting the words from a poem piece I have made, at random intervals throughout the code. There were only ten words added, and it changed it a great amount. I think I might play with this more, and check what the original, poem, and glitch piece all look like together, as a kind of triptych.
I love playing with digital- and I like that these images all started out as hand drawn or painted and ended up changed in a way that you just couldn't have done without technology. It's a subversion of the digital code, of course, which is very interesting conceptually. If you want to check out some more random glitch pictures, here is a nice Flickr image pool.