Once the stuff of sci-fi movies and illicit underground movements, hacking today has been adopted by citizens worldwide. Like any medium that has achieved a critical popular mass, strange and intoxicating activity is happening at the margins, between the cracks and out in the shed. Pixel Jam is one of the places where coders, creators, musicians, and artists come together to display their technical and artistic excellence. The objective of Pixel Jam is to engage with unique idea development that applies the hacker mind set through an inspiring and intensive exhibition of hacklabs, events and interventions.
PixelJam was created to support, expand and transform the demoscene- a largely competition-oriented subculture, with groups and individual artists competing against each other in technical and artistic excellence. As well as focusing on the mechanics or political issues that surround original trans-media concepts, Pixel Jam reviews the artistry of the technique of hacking, as well as other ways to apply a “hacker mentality”.
These are the games that make us question “is this really a game?” and “who would do this?” and “why?”… From zero-button games like Cory Arcangel’s “Super Mario Clouds” to existentialist platformers like Cactus’ “Psychosomnium,” Pixel Jam share, discuss, play and ultimately throw down tournament style to establish artgamer supremacy in the first ever Artgames LAN Party, a titanic clash of sensitivities & aesthetics sure to shake loose the stars from our crude, pixelated skybox.
Hence, in addition to topics of technology and computer security, many aspects of both the art and music world are represented. Pixel Jam is also an integral yet distinct entity within the Notacon arts and technology conference. Notacon (pronounced “not-a-con”) art and technology conference was founded in 2003 by “FTS Conventures”, and takes place annually in Cleveland, Ohio. Combined Notacon and PixelJam attendance generally hovers around 400 people with an event space of over 15,000 square feet.
The concept of “community through technology” is one of the main focuses of Notacon, with the participants being dedicated to the advancement of computer technology. This year Pixel Jam also teamed up with criticalartware on some categories, including Glitch/Artware and newGame++.
List of Winners for Pixel Jam 2012