I was honored to have my Painting with Pixels installation for the Game Developers Conference featured in AIGA’s annual 365: Design Effectiveness exhibition. You can view the project here, and check out my original post on the project here.
Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category
The Game Developers Conference is the largest annual gathering of professionals from the video game industry. For GDC 25 I was commissioned by the evil geniuses at iam8bit to design a pixel mural of epic proportions, 20 feet by 8 feet to be exact. The catch? The wall would be completely blank.
Each of the conference’s attendees would receive a 2″ pixel, either cyan, magenta, yellow, or black (the conference color scheme this year) and would get to place his or her pixel on the wall in a corresponding square.
Over the course of the week, the image I designed would reveal itself… but only if everyone participated. Part art project, part social experiement, “Painting with Pixels” was one of the most fascinating and fun projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. Being at the conference all week it was interesting to observe the evolution of people’s behavior; while most attendees would comply with the instructions (I even heard one woman chastise her friend for speculating what would happen if he put his color on the wrong square), others bent or even broke the rules completely. If you watch the time lapse above, around the two minute mark you’ll see one person remove some of the placed pixels to create an image of Super Mario. I observed one person color their magenta pixel black so they could place it on a square designated for black ones.
It was also exciting to see how one person’s idea would quickly spread to others. Though most were content to simply place their pixel in a color-designated spot, one attendee decided to draw a little illustration on his before adding it to the mural. This caught on and by the end of the conference, hundreds of pixels were adorned with artwork, signatures, witty sayings, and even a few mini-resumes from out of work developers.
The GDC logo was the first element to really materialize, followed shortly by the jetpack-wearing cowboy and the dragon incinerating the Golden Gate Bridge.
And here’s the wall 99.9% complete! There were a few pixels left unclaimed at the end of the conference so Jon, Nick, and I filled the rest in.
Overall it was a great success, we couldn’t have done it without the collaboration of everyone at the conference. Each pixel symbolized nothing more than potential on its own, but bring together several thousand of them, take a step back, and you get a real picture of community, and the power of working together.
Back in March, I traveled to Berlin for the 3rd Pictoplasma conference, Pictopia and an installation I had at the Neurotitan gallery as part of the conference’s Character Walk. You can read more about the installation here and here. Two of the coolest Berliners I met were Gabriel Shalom and Patrizia Kommerell, whose creative studio KS12 was commissioned to create a short documentary about the conference and everything that went along with it. I was thrilled to be included (2:45) along with some of my favorite artists such as AJ Fosik, Steven Guarnaccia, Charles Glaubitz, and Gastón Caba. The film, “Poems for Pictopia”, ends with a video montage set to a song that Gastón wrote and performed at the end of his presentation. I was just thrilled to be able to relive the whole conference all over again through this video. Great work KS12!
I’m heading to Berlin on Friday for the Pictoplasma conference and an exhibition at Neurotitan that corresponds with the Berlin Character Walk (my show is #6). My installation will consist entirely of Post-It Notes, some of which will be drawn or painted on by a number of fantastic artists, including Emmy-winners Jorge R. Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua, Gabe Swarr, Jim Mahfood and MyTarPit