processing capacity, more bandwidth, more definition lines, more
polygons, more pixels. Faster and more real. "More" is
the magic word that hardware manufacturers constantly offer their
best customers, those who explore the crossroad between creation
and technology. And there is no form of digital creativity more
obsessed with technological development than videogames. An industry
that lives on the cyclical revolutions that take place every time
a new processor or a new generation of super-consoles is launched.
from the opposite direction to this philosophy there is a whole
subversive movement, a school of critical thinking. Facing the millions
of polygons per second that last-generation videogames consoles
are able to generate, - enough to create real-time movies which
required million dollar super-computers four years ago -, some demand
the aesthetics of eight-bit microcomputers from twenty years ago,
the charming MSX, Commodores 64 or ZX Spectrum. Facing the extreme
naturalism of "more and more real", the abstraction and
iconic simplicity of mythical games such as Pong or Space Invaders.
Facing PS2 or Xbox and graphic accelerator cards, the flexibility
of affordable technologies such as Flash, Shockwave or the modification
of commercial games.
generation of digital artists, independent videogame creators and
information designers has begun to accept the challenge. To overcome
the obsession with technology as the only way to generate new concepts
and aesthetics to take the form back to its basic principles.
Demanding the elements which depict above all the art of game creation:
the attraction of a first experience, playability and what British
writer Stephen Poole calls amplification of input. The instant pleasure
coming from making things happen in the world on the other side
of the monitor just by pressing a key.
beyond the fetishization of technology, the return to origins has
an additional justification. The list of subjects, motifs and forms
offered every season by the electronic entertainment industry is
more and more foreseeable and weary. With a few and punctual exceptions,
the most sophisticated graphic accelerators and the last-generation
consoles are used to generate more race simulators. Even more gothic
mansions and space stations. More never-ending corridors to cover
carrying a machine gun in your hand. The industry devoted to succeed
Hollywood as the big purveyor of entertainment for the masses can
stand alongside the Mecca of motion pictures in creative conservatism
and lack of risk. It is not strange then that many of us remember
the age of micro-consoles and eight-bit computers, two decades ago,
as a golden creative era where we rushed to explore the world contained
in every Atari 2600 cartridge because it promised a brand new experience.
is not just a question of nostalgia or a need to revise our origins.
EIGHTTIMESEIGHT presents the work of eight creators who research,
speculate and take risks to try to find among the old technology
remains this sense of purity and truth associated with simplicity
and minimal expression.
also tries to suggest new approaches about the relationship between
videogames and digital art. At first, some digital artists approach
electronic entertainment intending exclusively to modify already
existing titles in order to superimpose a political, feminist or,
for example, antiglobalization discourse, rejecting the qualities
which make games an autonomous form of creation.
it becomes usual that prestigious names in digital creation - Entropy8Zuper,
Anne Marie Schleiner, Eric Zimmerman himself - accept the challenge
to create videogames from scratch and from inside, assuming their
rules and coexisting with the titles produced in the commercial
field. Introducing in them at the same time new cultural and aesthetic
codes. We can be at the beginning of a new era where electronic
art and videogames, during a long time not communicated, are not
longer considered completely different spheres of contemporary creation.
Thus, they can be seen as what they are: another genre of digital
arts. The most popular and accessible one, but also one of the most