09.07.12

Miyamoto meets Mies van der Rohe: 8-bit minimalism

A new exhibition at Brigham Young University's Museum of Art, 8-Bit Modern, plays with the simple iconography of early videogames. The artist, Michael Whiting, sees his 8-bit art in the context of the early minimalists:

Video gaming and minimalism arrived at the same visual conclusion through different means and by opposite intentions. Early video gaming, or pixel-based imaging, did not intend to be simple or minimal. It intended to communicate as much visual information as possible. The problem was that the memory available to store that visual information was extremely limited. The images created in early video gaming were so simplified that out of context they are unreadable as representational images. Early video gaming images are, at best, abstractions. They are minimal for lack of technology. Minimalism on the other hand, created objects that were minimal by design and intention Minimalism intend to reduce the art object to its simplest form.  Minimalist objects and images are based on formal ideas with no reference to image or outside narrative and have the appearance of a mass produced object. These two separate movements had quite opposite intentions with very similar visual results.