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Sam Wagter


Sam Wagter is a Canadian multimedia artist based in London, Ontario. She received her BFA from Western University, and has returned to Western as an MFA candidate. Her body of work investigated body, identity, femininity, queerness, computers and technology, the glitch, transformation and reconstruction, virtual spaces, and video games.

Artist Statement

My studio practice centers around the exploration of the body through questions such as: What defines a body? Are the bodies we occupy exclusively physical, or can the be something more? How do our bodies interact with each other? How do they engage with different types of spaces? I approach these questions through the lenses of queerness and feminism, through computers, videogames, and other virtual spaces, and through Legacy Russell’s theory of ‘glitch feminism’. In their book Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto Russell writes, “This glitch is a form of [binary] refusal. Within glitch feminism, glitch is celebrated as a vehicle of refusal, a strategy of nonperformance. This glitch aims to make abstract again that which has been forced into an uncomfortable and ill-defined material: the body.”[1] They continue, “[Glitch is for] . . . those who continue to play, experiment and build via the Internet as a means of strengthening the loop between online and AFK.”[2]

I look to ‘glitch’ as the space in-between various binaries: online vs AFK, ‘glitch’ and the body, identity and nonperfromance, analog vs digital, the 1s and 0s of a computer. This in-between space is blurred, blended, undefined, and endless – a void. A void space is a place of infinite opportunities, like the void space in software. This void manifests itself in the blank Microsoft Word documents we create, the empty timeline in our Adobe Premiere projects, and the blank grid 3D spaces where we eventually build our digital sculptures. My studio practice attempts to access those ‘glitch’ locations and explore them mainly through digital mediums. Using software and videogames as both my inspiration and my tool, I seek out programs which contain these void in-between spaces, and compare, contrast, and question what ‘glitch’ and void means to me. I do not attempt to define but rather, my art and research seeks to explore and navigate these spaces, exist within them, emphasize them, and invite the viewer in to do the same.


[1] Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto (New York: Verso, 2020), 8.

[2] Ibid., 13. ‘AFK’ meaning to be away from your keyboard, experiencing our physical ‘real’ life rather than the one’s found within our computer screens.

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