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Re Positionality (re)positioned

Phil wrote:

>I guess I have this enduring fantasy of glitch being motivated by some
>kind of critique or frustration with digital technology, and perhaps
>even its socio-political context. In some cases this may be true (maybe
>more with Oval than most, but even then it can often be a somewhat
>ambivalent critique), but most often I think there are other things
>going on. I can't comment on the links between glitch and Futurism that
>T and others have raised, but at this point certainly, "failure" has
>become so domesticated in glitch that it's lost whatever critical edge
>it may ever have had. Now that you can download or even buy plugins that
>*successfully* emulate "failure", it's becoming harder for me to see
>glitch as being able to embody any sort of self-reflexive critique of
>its own inescapable digitality.

Interesting. I've noticed that in much of the writing around the subject of
glitch, the aestheics of failure, etc., two contradictory legitimating
claims emerge.  First the argument that glitch is self-reflexive, a
foregrounding of the media substrate, emphasis on error, and so forth.  The
second relates to the laptop performer who is both composer and performer,
usually composing and performing a unique work (or unique interpretation of
a work) in real time, in the here and now, according to whim or feeling, in
other words, improvisation.
I'm begining to think that these two justifications seem to be at odds with
each other.  On the one side is a mode of production that is absolutely
machinic (bearing in mind Trace Reddell's modification of the concept of
the glitch, as human) , and on the other an artform that is extremely human
and based on expression.

Is it possible for a performer to improvise while at the same time
initiating processes prone to the generation of error, from within the
sealed of space of the laptop?  If so how does the element of failure make
itself known to the audience?  Are these performances actually based on
failure or is the glitch in these cases merely the surface effect of an
aesthetic based on error?  I'm thinking here of some of the beautiful,
wonderfully crafted subtle and careful performances I've heard in the past
few years.  It seems to me that in these performances there seems to be
very little element of risk, let alone error or failure.

I'm interested to hear from anyone who considers error and failure to be
important structuring elements in their work.  How do you perform this
live? Do you think that you communicate these processes to the audience
successfully ?