In 1978, queer and transgender programmer Jamie Faye Fenton created the first piece of experimental video glitch art, Digital TV Dinner, using the Bally Astrocade, a home computer and game console of her own design that was, for six months, the cheapest home computer available. Digital TV Dinner stands as a record of computational failure: it was created by Fenton through a pointed misuse of the computer system that caused the screen to dissolve into waves of pixelated glitches. What might it mean to center the glitch as a historically trans mode of media production? And how might we write trans media history as a history of unmediation—that is, a history of undoing mediation? A history of things that cannot be documented, or that evade or dismantle mediation, in which the fullness of trans life and history exceeds the images presented in the screen itself?
A Trans Historiography of Glitches and Errors
By Whitney (Whit) Pow, 2021