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Goldsmiths - University of London

Temporalities of the Glitch: Déjà Vu

Cubitt, Sean. 2017. Temporalities of the Glitch: Déjà Vu. In: Martine Beugnet; Allan Cameron and Arild Feltveit, eds. Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 299-315. ISBN 9781474407120 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Glitch describes the visual and auditory effects of interruptions of electronic signals. In analogue video it typically appears as a horizontal effect on the scanned image, often at an edit point or where a recording device has been switched on. In digital video it appears as a pixelated stammer occupying part or all of the screen. Both variants have been minimised by archivists, but used by artists to foreground the materiality of the medium in recording, transmission and reception. This chapter investigates both these interruptions of image/signal, and the replication of these effects in fiction, where typically they work to indicate the actuality of conditions of communication. Equally fascinating is the simulated glitch in imagined media, from the holographic Princess Leia to the trans-temporal transmissions of Déjà Vu. Operating as a threshold between signal and noise, glitch highlights the dialectic of representation and communication.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media and Communications


August 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2017 09:36

Last Modified:

22 Sep 2017 09:36


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