Linda Besemer

Linda Besemer

Fellow: Awarded 2022
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

I work with digital drawing and animation programs to conceive and compose paintings. It has not been an easy mix of the hand and computer, of the analog and digital. The 3D program I use is not designed to create abstractions and often generates glitches. I spent many hours painstakingly eliminating these unwanted artifacts. In my recent paintings, I embrace and exploit them.

The big question for me has been, is a glitch an unremarkable disruption of digital programming, or can it be a formal catalyst for critical and political intervention? I don’t believe in digital perfection or that the novelty or newness of technology makes it inherently critical. Instead, I am interested in understanding how the form of a glitch — a mistake or failure — can create a rupture in how we view known constructions of representation.

Glitch as a failure refers to both a literal failure of technology and a semiotic failure to achieve normative or hegemonic classifications. The semiotic failure — to adhere to the Cartesian regime of the programming, to mimic hetero-normative characters, to establish gravity in the space of a painting, to represent anything — is where my paintings engage materially and critically.

Photo Credit: Anne Jacko-Besemer

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