The Colors Behind Datamoshing

A developing animation technique recently coined, datamoshing (though one of the originators of this technique isn’t thrilled by its new name), which uses compression artefacts is beginning to appear in the mainstream. The proof, enough for any blog it seems, are two music videos: Kanye West’s ‘Welcome To Heartbreak” Directed by Nabil and Chairlift’s ‘Evident Utensil’ directed by Ray Tintori with “Datamoshery by Bob Weisz.”

A post by our color loving friend Shape + Colour not only brought my attention to the music videos, it also steered me towards the work of David O’Reilly, one of the originators of this animation technique (first example in 2005). O’Reilly, besides having an impressive portfolio, has a lot to say about the recent developments and the technique itself. He explains his use like this, “my goal aesthetically has always been the more broader aim of simply not hiding the artefacts of software, the same way Bacon didn’t hide paint strokes…”

According to a post over at kottke, there are few other artists who should be recognized by their use of this technique: “ Takeshi Murata, paperrad, Mark Brown, Kris Moye, Owi Mahn & Laura Baginski (2004) and Sven König; 1 & 2 (2004/2005).

Here are some early examples along with the two recent music videos.

Early Examples

Takeshi Murata

Mark Brown

David O’Reilly

First use of the technique:

Owi Mahn & Laura Baginski

New Music Videos

Kanye West’s ‘Welcome To Heartbreak” Directed by Nabil

Chairlift’s Evident Utensil directed by Ray Tintori

And here’s a great film by David O”reilly

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (, a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.