White Square on Black Ground
Pong, created in 1972 and one of the first arcade videogames, displays two white rectangles and one white square on a black background. These simple geometric structures represent a game of endless complexity, one that is also an ever-changing abstract image whose composition depends on where the ball goes and where the players move their paddles. It’s an elegant abstraction that visual artists can appreciate. Pong solves many of the conceptual problems faced by abstract artists in the 1920s and ’30s, using many of the same approaches, but for a very different end.