The nicely-growing Digital Tools blog has an excellent interview with visualist Paris Treantafeles, who works with lo-fi 8-bit-style visuals using tools he’s built for GBA and the Linux-powered Gamepark.
Interestingly, while a lot of people will dismiss the 8-bit movement as “nostalgic” — implying it’s just 20-somethings pining for their Mario-playing childhoods — Paris’ inspiration was originally vintage analog synthesizers. And synthesizing graphics is his main interest:
I concentrate on creating graphics from scratch. That’s pretty much all I do. Other people like using movie clips and manipulating them, but from my point of view it’s a good exercise to see what you can do when you have to create everything from scratch. It gives you an appreciation to form and color.
The synthesis/sampling argument I think is very much related to the way electronic music is produced. I find that focusing on either one can be a good exercise — see our friend Troels sampling Coke bottles, for instance.
It’s nice stuff, but I do hope, particularly here in the US where the VJ/visualist scene has had trouble gaining broader recognition, that we start to see other styles on genres forming more coherent “scenes” in the way 8-bit has. Of course, what has happened for people like Paris is he’s found strong advocates in the musicians, which seems to be a key element (and has helped strengthen the visual work done outside chiptune music, as well).