Despite all the progress
in computer animation and state-of-the-art digital imaging, retro graphics endure in popular culture, especially among Gen Y, which is drawn staunchly to lo-fi aesthetics
and clunky clip art. Is their ongoing fascination with these throwback forms essentially an homage
to the joy that 8-bit art
once brought them, or is it their persistent sense of irony that's keeping these graphics current?
De-CGI Something: Boing Boing
posted a Back to School Challenge this year encouraging readers to "De-CGI Something
" - that is, to take an image typically displayed with computer-generated imagery and recreate it
in a more organic medium. Contestants submitted projects using materials like watercolors
, recycled clothes
, and even junk
. Blog commentary surrounding the contest paid tribute to retro imagery created originally in CGI, even as some frustration arose from within Boing Boing's global audience (directed toward contest sponsor HP
) because submissions were limited initially to US residents. Ultimately, the rules were modified so that entries from Canada could be accepted. In the end, it was an ideal way for the brand to connect with Boing Boing's ambassadors of cyberpunk
, while allowing them to express their right brain talents.
Lo-Fi Video Art: "In addition to prepping for his Chrimbus Tour
, Eric Wareheim
(Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
) has been busy adding his bizarro visual flair to music videos. In his signature absurd style, Wareheim artfully mashes out-of-date CGI with some space-age, some psychedelic, and some so-bad-they're-good graphics to render stunning off-the-wall visuals for each song. The results are quite out of the ordinary, and they've caught viral waves across cyberspace on behalf of buzz bands like MGMT
, The Bird and the Bee
, Tommy Sparks
, Phantom Planet
, Flying Lotus
and Major Lazer
. His retro graphic work flashes faster than our minds can wander, satisfying a thirst for visually incongruous lo-fi chaos we never knew we had.