|8:00 p.m.||8 Bit|
Marcin Ramocki, Justin Strawhand (U.S., 2006)
Bay Area Premiere!
Joe McKay and Xik in Performance
Joe McKay is a media artist who specializes in unique, often whimsical, and non-combative videogames. Xik is a sound artist who authored an interface that allows MIDI to run the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment Station.
Repurposing is becoming a practice unto itself—turning unsuspecting cultural commodities toward new intentions. Nowhere is this more evident than in the lo-fi, chip-cracking scene where primitive Nintendo and Atari consoles end up outputting art. Part underground exposé, part cultural critique, Marcin Ramocki and Justin Strawhand's 8 Bit takes us to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo to check out the DIY artistic angles of a generation raised on Super Mario. A whirlwind history of videogames leads us to the demo scene of the eighties, when teen nerds were busting the copy protection on game cartridges. More recently, artists like Cory Arcangel and Alex Galloway have hacked entertainment consoles to produce almost atavistic artifacts resurrected from 8-bit game imagery. For their part, the chip-tuners have scavenged anachronistic sound tech like Game Boys to generate surprisingly complex but chunky music. 8 Bit mixes critical takes from such notables as Ed Halter and Christiane Paul, the insights of the artists themselves, and about 64 bits' worth of rockin' algorithms.
• With Cory Arcangel, Bitshifter, Bubblyfish, Mary Flanagan, Alex Galloway, Ed Halter, Joe McKay, John Klima, Nullsleep, Eddo Stern, Treewave. (75.5 mins, Color, DVCAM, From the artist)