Now PBS takes 8-bit seriously–in the form of a 7-minute web documentary.


In a classic case of medium-is-the-message, a commercial-like manifesto or manifesto-like commercial called “The Evolution of 8-bit” appeared last week on Off Book, which is PBS’s alt-culture Tumblr. It’s a fun-sized, snacktime documentary of 8-bit history and ideology sans specific agenda. Progressive, legitimizing sound bytes come from NYC band Anamanaguchi, Dr. Octoroc–the guy who made the 8-bit Jersey Shore, Mad Men games among others, and a gallery artist who painted 9/11 like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle arcade backdrop. They agree that creative possibilites thrive within 8-bit’s definitive restraint and DIY ethics. Some call it childish, some call it minimalist, some call it nostalgic–the one thing that seems to be for sure is you’ll be reading a litany of 8-bit devices on gallery cards and liner notes indefinitely. Here’s PBS:

The idea of 8-bit now stands for a refreshing level of simplicity and minimalism, is capable of sonic and visual beauty, and points to the layer of technology that suffuses our modern lives. No longer just nostalgia art, contemporary 8-bit artists and chiptunes musicians have elevated the form to new levels of creativity and cultural reflection.

Perhaps, but is this saying that “medium-is-the-movement” is actually a thing?

[via Off Book]