Monday, October 9, 2006

Limbo: The Game

I'm not really in the habit of posting about videogame art (just art inspired by videogames,) but every once in a while, something comes along that grabs my attention. Limbo is one of those. You can tell from the above screenshots that the game is highly stylised - My impression that that you, as the small Boy in Silhouette, have to run around a forest and an industrial factory and avoid being smushed by falling boxes and impaled by spikey trees. The 2-dimensional, sidescrolling aspect of the game reminds me of classics like "Out Of This World" and "Flashback" (both by Delphine Software), but the fact that the designers of Limbo have chosen to present the game not only entirely in black and white but also almost exclusively in silhouette appeals to me.

The website is perversely void of information about this game - how far along it is, when it might be released, even information on the storyline - but what is there is more than enough to pique anyone's interest. If anyone knows anything more, feel free to email me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I AM 8-BIT, pt. II

Back in April, I wrote about the I AM 8-BIT group exhibit at Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight (who, incidentally, with their recent Disney-themed "Remixing the Magic" group exhibit - expect an update on that sometime this week - along with I AM 8-BIT, are rapidly becoming one of my favorite L.A. pop art gallery.)

Today I finally received my copy of "I AM 8-BIT: Art Inspired By Classic Videogames of the 80s" from Amazon, and... wow. Considering the remarkably low price ($15 plus shipping,) I was not expecting it to be even half as lovely as it actually is. Every one of its 156 pages reproduces a glossy, full-colour print that was featured in the show, and although it doesn't provide complete coverage - there are a few works from the exhibit that are nowhere to be found here, and a few that I suspect were actually done after the show, specifically for inclusion in the book - it is certainly a comprehensive look at 8-bit videogame-inspired art.

There are art books and there are art books. This is the sort of book you actually want on your coffee table: anyone under the age of 30 is going to freak right out when they see it. Forget "Historic Barns of Minnesota" - Do yourself a favour and order this book right now. Or wait for the second volume to come out (no guarantees, of course, but they've had at least two seperate I AM 8-BIT shows, so Gallery 1988 has no shortage of material) and order them together. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Sean Clarity, Peter Gronquist, Gabe Swarr
(click image for full-sized version)

Another day, another reason to move to Los Angeles. Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight, located at 7020 Melrose Ave. in L.A., is hosting the second annual I AM 8-BIT exhibition, and... wow. The first series was pretty neat, but this new one is amazing. So much videogame love.

Michael Gagne, Martin Ontiveros
(click image for full-sized version)

The list of contributors is a veritable who's-who of the contemporary pop surrealism scene: Tim Biskup, Steve Purcell, Jim Mahfood, Luke Chueh, Gary Baseman, Brandon Bird, and dozens more. Who knew that Nintendo was so universal and profoundly influential? Most works draw their inspiration either from the NES roster (Super Mario Bros, Megaman, Metroid) or from the earlier Atari era (Pacman, Asteroids, Donkey Kong,) with few if any references beyond the late '80s. A handful even comment on the nature of videogaming itself.

Jose Emroca Flores, Love Ablan, Yosuke Ueno
(click image for full-sized version)

If you live in or near L.A., you could do worse than to plan a visit to Nineteen Eighty-Eight this weekend. If you don't, you're still in luck. The first I AM 8-BIT collection has been collected and recently published by Chronicle Books, and is readily available at At under $15 USD, the book is stupidly affordable and you really owe it to yourself to add it to your own library.

Link: I AM 8-BIT website.
Link: Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight.
Link: I AM 8-BIT: Art Inspired by Classic Videogames of the '80s at Amazon.

(note: All above photos were originally posted at Vinyl Pulse, an art blog which I heartily endorse and recommend. I cropped them and did some other minor tweaks for presentation's sake but all credit goes to Vinyl Pulse and the original photographer.)