A trans historiography of glitches and errors

Whitney Whit Pow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In 1978, queer and transgender programmer Jamie Faye Fenton created the first piece of experimental video glitch art, Digital TV Dinner, using the Bally Astrocade, a home computer and game console of her own design that was, for six months, the cheapest home computer available. Digital TV Dinner stands as a record of computational failure: it was created by Fenton through a pointed misuse of the computer system that caused the screen to dissolve into waves of pixelated glitches. What might it mean to center the glitch as a historically trans mode of media production? And how might we write trans media history as a history of unmediation - that is, a history of undoing mediation? A history of things that cannot be documented, or that evade or dismantle mediation, in which the fullness of trans life and history exceeds the images presented in the screen itself?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-230
Number of pages34
JournalFeminist Media Histories
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Keywords

  • Bally Astrocade
  • Digital TV Dinner
  • Digital media
  • Experimental video
  • Glitch art
  • Jamie Faye Fenton
  • Queer theory
  • Software studies
  • Transgender studies
  • Videogame studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • History

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