Phillip Stearns’s art might look like the results of a messed up Nintendo cartridge or a camera dropped one too many times, and in a way, that’s exactly what it is. It’s just not an accident.
This weekend, approximately 1700 different artists will open their studios in Brooklyn to anyone who wants to see — meaning that there will be a ton of crap, but also some good stuff. The trick to hitting the Brooklyn Museum’s GO Brooklyn event, which lasts from 11 AM to 7 PM daily, is to know just who to see, and one of the people you have to see is Stearns, whose digital images and robot-made textiles turn computer errors into visual art.
Check out Stearns’s Tumblr, Year of the Glitch. He’s spent the past year deconstructing digital cameras, messing with their circuitboards, and turning what would be normal images into cracked-out collages of displaced pixels, acid colors, and weird gradients. No, you’re not hallucinating (at least not because of the website), that’s just how Stearns wants it to look. The pieces follows up on pioneers of glitch art like artist Rosa Menkman, whose Glitch Manifesto describes the genre as a way to break through the ordinary. “The perfect glitch shows how destruction can change into something original,” she writes.
While Menkman’s website is pretty much an online acid trip, Phillip Stearns turns the glitch into something unexpectedly beautiful. You’ll never look at an old computer or a decaying VHS tape the same way again.
Phillip Stearns’s studio will be open in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at 1013 Grand Street, 4C #4 on Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8 from 11 AM to 7 PM.