Image: Overlords by Tom Estes- Originally conceived as a video installation comprised of images of ‘Time Travel’ projected on to a book called ‘Local History and Antiquities’, the work ‘Overlords’ was deliberately left incomplete.
Once the stuff of sci-fi movies and illicit underground movements, hacking today has been adopted by citizens worldwide. Like any medium that has achieved a critical popular mass, strange and intoxicating activity is happening at the margins, between the cracks and out in the shed. Pixel Jam is one of the places where coders, creators, musicians, and artists come together to display their technical and artistic excellence. The objective of Pixel Jam is to engage with unique idea development that applies the hacker mind set through an inspiring and intensive exhibition of hacklabs, events and interventions.
PixelJam was created to support, expand and transform the demoscene- a largely competition-oriented subculture, with groups and individual artists competing against each other in technical and artistic excellence. As well as focusing on the mechanics or political issues that surround original trans-media concepts, Pixel Jam reviews the artistry of the technique of hacking, as well as other ways to apply a “hacker mentality”.
These are the games that make us question “is this really a game?” and “who would do this?” and “why?”… From zero-button games like Cory Arcangel’s “Super Mario Clouds” to existentialist platformers like Cactus’ “Psychosomnium,” Pixel Jam share, discuss, play and ultimately throw down tournament style to establish artgamer supremacy in the first ever Artgames LAN Party, a titanic clash of sensitivities & aesthetics sure to shake loose the stars from our crude, pixelated skybox.
Hence, in addition to topics of technology and computer security, many aspects of both the art and music world are represented. Pixel Jam is also an integral yet distinct entity within the Notacon arts and technology conference. Notacon (pronounced “not-a-con”) art and technology conference was founded in 2003 by “FTS Conventures”, and takes place annually in Cleveland, Ohio. Combined Notacon and PixelJam attendance generally hovers around 400 people with an event space of over 15,000 square feet.
The concept of “community through technology” is one of the main focuses of Notacon, with the participants being dedicated to the advancement of computer technology. This year Pixel Jam also teamed up with criticalartware on some categories, including Glitch/Artware and newGame++.
List of Winners for Pixel Jam 2012
-= Textmode Graphics =-
1st 70pts Exploding Galaxy – krue
2nd 60pts Sssssss. – Inspired Chaos
3rd 38pts Taste the Rainbow – Duh
-= Freestyle Music =-
1st 84pts pixeljamjam1 – coda
2nd 76pts pxl8 – glacial23
-= Freestyle Graphics =-
1st 78pts untitled590 – prince / the Obsessed Maniacs
2nd 71pts Morphine Youth – Forcer/DESiRE^TRSi
3st 58pts Letters from Noa – CONS^Onslaught^TRSi
4th 53pts Overlords – Tom Estes
5th 43pts SVN-Elephant – grip/pixelmagic
-= Glitch / Artware =-
1st 47pts h-lh-l – dave musgrave
2nd 44pts SNObound – Evan Kühl & Ben Baker-Smith
3rd 40pts Black Sunday – SCHULTZ
4th 35pts 041412 – Morgan Higby-Flowers
5th 19pts ec77ce – osvaldo cibils
-= Wild =-
1st 93pts Drift – krue & brutal deluxe
2nd 51pts To Space – echo & globber
DQed Notacon Radio – Salsa or something
-= Combined Demo =-
1st 102pts Where Have All the Pixels Gone? – CMU Computer club
2nd 77pts Demon Blood – Youth Uprising
3rd 76pts compo.filler – vrtx
4th 68pts das experiment – fresh!mindworkz
5th 56pts Neurohacking Vector #1: Epilepsy – RDE
6th 35pts BITS 4001 – Herman Samso of BITS