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When A Render Glitch Becomes Art

A coworker and friend named Kevin shared an image with me yesterday that he dug up. We first saw it way back in 2003 when we were working on effects shots for the Robert Rodriguez movie Spy Kids 2.

We had been hammering on our Discreet Flames for weeks to get our slate of shots done. Both we and the machines were feeling the pressure. But the crowning achievement came when, after setting the comp to render, instead of the expected result the overtaxed machine produced this:

Spy Kids 2 Render Glitch


Beautiful, no? I remember sitting there in a daze, just staring at it with sleep-deprived eyes, wondering if I was hallucinating.

Had the machine achieved some kind of sentient state? Was it crying out for help? Was there a little digital version of the essence of Piet Mondrian inside, playing with our pixels?

I’ll never know… the refrigerator-sized Onyx 2 that produced it is in a landfill somewhere, its hard drive wiped years ago, or perhaps slagged down to produce at least twenty workstations.

Have you ever had a piece of software or hardware produce something unexpectedly bizarre, yet beautiful? If so, feel free to share it below this post…

If not…well, enjoy this one-of-a-kind piece from a dead digital artist.

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