Presidential Glitch Portraits

11.20.12 Irina Dvalidze

Artist Olivier Ratsi from the visual art collective AntiVJ has broken the United States Presidents into digital bits and strips and Frankensteined them into hybrids. The series Once Upon a Time the Presidents features easily recognizable portraits of American leaders arranged into glitchy collages. This style is crucial to the artist:

The glitch process affects the image received by the observer. It creates a disturbing failure, and a quite consistent effect, so that the observer cannot fully decode the information. However this break acts—without preventing the observer from reconstructing an image—through his own life experience.

Ratsi Photoshops the images, juxtaposing familiar visual traits and forcing the viewers to identify several subjects simultaneously in the same context. He jumps across generations in order to create a unified title figure of the most powerful person in the country.

I visually deconstruct the president, both past and present. Its aim is to generate a break with the meaning of the original items, to propose a new viewing angle and to provide the public a new field of experience, another way of looking at space and time.

If only he could actually gather the best traits from each past president into a single Perfect Candidate.