In 1995, I downloaded a program called Impulse Tracker. Originally I got it because I wanted to make music using sounds I'd recorded myself, but I ended up discovering a new way to appropriate -- it let me open any file on my computer as if it were an audio file. The sounds were exciting, composed by a machine in arrangements that human ears weren't meant to hear. I became a sample digger, but instead of digging through crates, I plundered my own hard drive, collecting my favorite DLLs and searching for the best-sounding file formats, reworking the tones into tunes and the bytes into beats. Of course, if you can turn a spreadsheet into a song then you can also turn it into a picture or a movie, and vice versa. Suddenly my music practice had corrupted me from a musician into an artist -- if sound file and image are the same, then so are music and art. But every few years I hear the data sound calling me to revisit it, to seek out new sounds and new data types, remix it with new tools.
Benjamin Berg releases music under the name stAllio! and with the band Animals Within Animals. He's currently very active on Tumblr, where he runs the influential glitchgifs blog, among others. He also makes online art tools like the Glitch Text Generator; his latest project is an HTML5 filter for Youtube videos. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and cat.