Mindhue Studio

Printmaking, conceptual and installation art

8×8 Pixel Glitch Block Video

Starting back in February, the display on my iMac started regularly glitching. These glitches consisted of random blocks of 8×8 pixels that would flicker across the display as it tried to refresh from the mouse pointer moving or a window closing. Sometimes the display looked like this:

PixelGlitchesDesktop

Which looked like this, pixel-to-pixel:

GlitchCloseup

And even infected the desktop icons:

GlitchIcon

So, after three months of this, I took the computer in to the Apple Store. Of course, they couldn’t replicate the problem, but I had plenty of screenshots, so it wasn’t just my imagination. They reinstalled MacOS 10.8.4, and I haven’t had the problem since.

In the interest of making lemonade out of lemons, I figured I could use the glitches in the various screenshots as raw materials in some artwork. After all, I’m definitely in to random processes, pixels, and weird graphic tweaks. So I pulled out 900 of the 8×8 glitch blocks and made a nice little movie of them. This video spans several screenshots, many of which were local screenshots or full desktops that didn’t have many glitch blocks visible. Some of the other desktop shots had so many glitch blocks it was a little overwhelming to try to capture them all, so I put them aside, perhaps for their own self-contained movies. Anyway, here is 30 seconds of screen glitches, courtesy of my iMac.