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 ‘Design’ 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.
Art for Obama: Designing Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change was released this month. The book catalogues the many pieces of art displayed at Shepard Fairey’s Manifest Hope exhibitions. Two of my pieces, The Games They Played (Manifest Hope, DC) and New Game (Manifest Hope, Denver), are included, as are works by some of my favorite artists such as Ron English, The Date Farmers, David Choe, Tristan Eaton, Tim Biskup, Travis Lampe, Cathie Bleck, and Mike Perry. All proceeds from the book are going to Americans for the Arts.
The logo I designed for chip-musician Doctor Octoroc will be featured in PRINT’s Regional Design Annual. This was a really fun project to work on. Doc and I spent many hours playing old NES games for typographic inspiration, but the real challenge was coming up with a clever way to take advantage of the shared letters between the two words in his stage name. In the end the best solution was simply to allow them to share the letters and use color to make the abbreviated “Dr.” pop out so the eye reads “Dr./Doctor” then bounces back to the “O” and reads Octoroc.