June 15, 2012 – Spring 2013
Listen to Michael Whiting talk about the exhibition: Whiting – Intro
“In my visual experience Pac-Man came before Donald Judd, Carl Andre or even Mondrian. For me Broadway Boogie Woogie will always be an homage to Pac-Man. My current work explores the visual connection between minimalism and early video games.
“Video gaming and minimalism arrived at the same visual conclusion through different means and by opposite intentions. Early video gaming, or pixel-based imaging, did not intend to be simple or minimal. It intended to communicate as much visual information as possible. The problem was that the memory available to store that visual information was extremely limited. The images created in early video gaming were so simplified that out of context they are unreadable as representational images. Early video gaming images are, at best, abstractions. They are minimal for lack of technology. Minimalism on the other hand, created objects that were minimal by design and intention Minimalism intend to reduce the art object to its simplest form. Minimalist objects and images are based on formal ideas with no reference to image or outside narrative and have the appearance of a mass produced object. These two separate movements had quite opposite intentions with very similar visual results.
“My current work explores this connection between early pixel-based video game images. I limit my image making to the same constraints that governed early pixel based technologies. I use a minimal number of squares to create an image. The images are formed into shaped steel canvases and are constructed using materials and techniques traditionally used to build minimalist sculpture. Unlike the minimalist art object my objects are image based and lack a perfect finish. The paint appearance acknowledges the history of ideas and movements that preceded these objects, but also distinguishes them from those same ideas and movements, resulting in a pixel-based abstraction.”