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These Playing Cards Are Full of Mind-Bending Glitchs

Your glitched Royal Flushes will look like a real sleight of hand.

This article was originally published on May 27, 2014 but we think it still rocks!

The power of glitch art often rests in its ability to transform a familiar object or image into something surreal, challenging the idea of what that object is. The concept is most frequently applied to digital information, such as breaking GIFs or using outdated equipment for stunning effects. Artist Soleil Zumbrunn’s new project, GLITCH is a powerful application of this specific glitch ethos, used on a standard deck of playing cards.

Playing cards are about as familiar as an object can get. They’ve been around since the 6th century A.D., and the symbols and iconograph still play prominent roles in everything from blockbuster action movies to awkward bonding days with your grandparents. The concept of glitching a deck of cards has so much innate power it instantly makes sense the moment you think about it. It’s surprising it’s taken this long.

Zumbrunn graduated from Design School Kolding (DSK), and has been making glitch art for over a year. On her DSK bio, she writes, “Rather than working to create the solution to a given problem, the main focus of my work has been to enhance the viewer’s insight into the subject matter, operating with the belief that people are capable of solving problems themselves.” For her, glitches aren’t about giving answers, but about asking the right questions.

She got the idea for ‘GLITCH’ after making a crafty deck of cards for her brother. Their friends and family immediately recognized the boundary-pushing beauty of GLITCH, and wanted more. 

The design process begins with physical glitching, i.e. the cutting up, rearranging, adding to, and subtracting from each card. Zumbrunn then extrapolates upon and smooths out those glitches in Adobe Illustrator. The glitches follow classic glitch aesthetic, from dissected colors to transposed sections of the image. The result is a deck of playing cards that constantly reminds players that reality could be an illusion, inspiring them to look for glitches in their own world.

To check out Zumbrunn’s work, check out her website, or watch this crazy glitch video she made while studying at DSK:

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