PBS' Off the Book specials are fantastic short documentaries covering a wide-range of subjects, and new one recently aired and posted was "The Evolution of 8-Bit Art", talking about the wide-reaching impact the simple pixelated artform has had on the greater whole of contemporary culture, music, art, and memory. It has grown so far beyond Atari and Nintendo, with even the current E3 convention showcasing a nostalgia for the power of 8-bit. Anthony Sneed, an artist shown on the site before, is one of the artists featured at length in this special. (His work is seen above).
Beginning with early Atari and Nintendo video games, the 8-bit aesthetic has been a part of our culture for over 30 years. As it moved through the generations, 8-bit earned its independence from its video game roots. 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.