Rule of Three


The Collapse of PAL

by Rosa Menkman
Television, video art

View a still from the artwork

An angelic aura is glimpsed through a grainy screen. Heavenly high cheekbones are obscured by a shifting smear of blue pixels. Wobbly green rays disrupt the vision, lines violently pulled taut as fried circuits attempt to throw up the correct display. Howls of faulty electrics match the frantic movement, with the crackling screeches occasionally calming to a wash of white noise. Originally broadcast on Danish national television, The Collapse of PAL may have been understood either as a eulogy to analogue, or the swansong of a dying television set, redundant and ready for the rubbish dump.

Words by Elizabeth Brown

Do While

by Oval

View the album cover

‘Do While’ was created through an act of destruction. Knives, paint, and tape in hand, Oval set about damaging compact discs of ambient music. The scars caused the records to stutter and skip, only to be stitched back together as loops. A resonant motif repeats in smooth peals, a set of wind chimes reverberating in a gentle breeze. Piercing the peace is a flock of percussive pitches, sonic shards that swoop across the soundscape. At first they intrude, marking the surface with unwelcome scratches and scrapes, but we soon surrender to their song. Every repeat listen reveals an unnoticed secret, each strike scoring a new groove.

Words by John Wadsworth

Hyper Light Drifter

developed by Heart Machine
Video game

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The Drifter hunches over, coughing up pink blood into a river that runs red. A shadow grows beneath the surface, morphing into a monstrous form that looms large behind him. He slashes it in two with a lightspeed swipe of his teal-hued sword, but knows that many more attacks on his health will follow. We must guide him around a finely pixelated world, weapon in hand. In the absence of familiar letterings, maps and symbols provide the only hints of where to turn next. As we endeavour to light the land’s beacons, we must dodge and dart around increasingly worthy foes, defeating them with carefully controlled choreography.

Words by John Wadsworth

More to discover

The Collapse of PAL: Watch the video here. Visit Rosa Menkman's website here. The artist has given a TEDx Talk on 'Benchmarking the deranged', which can be seen here.

Do While: Listen to the piece here. Read an article on Oval's album 94 Diskont by Mark Richardson for Pitchfork.

Hyper Light Drifter: Watch the trailer here and the prologue here. Chris Priestman has interviewed Alex Preston, the game's director, for The Guardian, as has Darren Carle for The Skinny.

Today's connection

The Collapse of PAL is an example of glitch art. ‘Do While’ is an example of glitch music. The director of Hyper Light Drifter, Alex Preston, formed Glitch Space, an open-office space for indie game developers in Los Angeles.

Question of the day

What artworks connected to the word 'Glitch' would you recommend? Let us know on Facebook, Patreon, or Twitter.

Wreck-It Ralph, a film directed by Rich Moore, in which one of the main characters is referred to as 'The Glitch'. (→)

– John Wadsworth, Silent Frame's Editor-in-Chief (via Patreon →)

Read more: Video games