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Crafting Malfunction: Rhetoric and Circuit-Bending

Steven Hammer, Aimée Knight


Circuit-bending, an art practice developed in the 1960’s, involves the creative short circuiting of battery-powered toys and instruments. Like many of its avant-garde precursors, circuit-bending is a composition practice that values access, chance, and indeterminacy. For this special issue of Harlot, we document our own circuit-bending process and make connections between the work of Qubais Reed Ghazala, the pioneer of circuit-bending, and rhetoric and writing. Specifically, we discuss the importance of access and creativity, invention and discovery, and the ways that composition is a collaborative performance between humans and nonhumans.


circuit bending, rhetoric, invention, access, object oriented ontology, glitch, art