8 Bit Characters:
New Doc Looks At Artists Behind Digi-Revolution

by Tony Phillips

No, 8 Bit is not about your grandfather’s quest to break a dollar. The film is much more grounded in Generation Xbox: the first wave to grow up on videogames since birth. Marcin Ramocki and Justin Strawhand’s doc chronicles the intersection of art and computer gaming and if that sounds as flash as a new Mountain Dew flavor, consider that Barbara London, video and media curator at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, introduced the film at its MoMA world premiere saying she “got wind of it a year ago and asked the director to hold it for us.”

The film is like annual gallery survey “i am 8-bit” for the lazy-assed, with fierce chiptune beats dropped onto your iPod to boot. Media critic Ed Halter kicks things off by explaining “8-bit is that tinny little tone that for a certain person will mean childhood” and the flick wraps 90 breathless minutes later having introduced Cory Archangel, Bit Shifter, Bodenstandig 2000, Bubblyfish, Nullsleep, Treewave and many more players all present at the premiere. 8 Bit creator Ramocki hopes to keep his film on the museum and festival circuit while trying to secure distribution, but can’t resist wise-assing the question of how one goes from couch-bound Dig Dug to the Museum of Modern Art. “Practice,” Ramocki deadpans.