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Pixeltopia: Art & Music from the future

Pixeltopia is a live show event that will feature several light-based art installations, including some fairly large and interactive pieces around the theme of pixel art and digitization.

Digitization is the process by which reality is reinterpreted in a binary key.

It is common today to hear about digitization and much of our time is dedicated to the production of data, due to the constant interaction with the latest technological resources. Artificial intelligence, the metaverse, cryptocurrencies, the NFTs phenomenon; these new experiences are progressively changing both the perception of reality and the role of the human being in society itself.

The upgrade in our relationship with technology, which become everyday more intimate, triggers ethical, psychological and moral shifts in perception, to adapt to the new digital habitat.

And as often happens in times of change, the taste for the search for the new can stop to give way to the rediscovery of the past.

This is happening with Pixel Art, a phenomenon that was born in the 1980s together with the first video games. It is a 2D technique designed and reworked on the basis of pixels.

Identifying it is not complex, given the low resolutions - which generate pixels - and the limited color palettes. All due to the old and historic first hardware with heavy limitations compared to current programs.

What is happening now is a design choice that goes against the tide, which is linked to the retro taste in some visuals of digital works. Not only related to video games and not easy to make.These works involve commitment, precision and a stance that cannot change during the work carried out by the artist.

The pixel is like a pencil for those who draw with this technique, but while analog artists had long time to master their techniques, and used oil paint for 500 years, tempera for 800 years and water colors since antiquity, the tools that pixel artists had available evolved quite rapidly.

Up until 1985, a pixel graphic would be drafting the sketch on paper and assigning each color value in machine language using black and white or max 8 colors.

In between 1985 and 1990, the color range available to pixel artists exponentially increased from 8 to 4096 with the Raster Editor Deluxe Paint in the Amiga.

This enhancement required a dedicated graphic editor to simplify the process of choosing a palette.

The developers that were working for Konami, Namco, Nintendo during those years, defined some of the basic principles of today’s Pixel Art, by pursuing the best intersection between power and affordability.

Today there are many Chatrooms, forums and digital ecosystems open to emerging and expert artists, with the possibility of deepening the technique thanks to a continuous sharing of styles and canons. Among these, the largest and best known can be found at this link


From videogames to a rediscovered technique, pixel art doesn't seem to stop and has continued its journey since the 1980s.

There is something very tribal and iconic in the blocky, low resolution look: something unique, generated by a computer, not emulating any other existing style, still representational yet abstract and expressive.

Technologic literacy and availability will extend the possibility of experimenting with digital art and sandbox concept games (like Terraria or Minecraft) will expose an increasing number of potential artists to the visual language of Pixel art.

Here’s few example of contemporary artists that are using Pixel Art as a language:

Space Invader


Cagatay Odabas




Morgan Sims






Pixeltopia Event

Sat, Jun 17, 2023 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Studio 23 Gallery 2309 Encinal Avenue Alameda, CA 94501


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