Not only does 8-Bit Battle Royale! sound like the title of an '80s movie but its premise reads like the plot of one, too: “Giant monsters have made their way up from a rift on the ocean floor and are wreaking havoc on the streets of L.A.! It's up to a ragtag team of Chiptune bands to strike back!” Inspired by the console video games of the 1980s, 8-Bit is a bona fide cultural movement, with an aesthetic style that manifests in animation, street art and design, along with the robust sound-art and music genre known as Chiptune. Cheerful and nostalgic, the look is clunky, awkward, simplistic, colorful, pixelated and flat; it's both cheeky and conceptual, sincere and ironic. Sometimes referred to as chip art, the process typically involves physically hacking the original electronics and bending their programming to an artist's will. For example, Cory Arcangel created a video piece by stripping out everything from Super Mario Bros. except the clouds. In music, it can be a little crazier — especially for a live audience, which is in the offing for tonight's high-stakes Arts District rumble. Think Battle of the Bands, except they call themselves teams and have names like Wizwars, Slime Girls! and Cyclops Rock. The organizers also promise visual artistry from a variety of 8-Bit luminaries, including something called “monster manipulation.” Let's hope they save the world so we don't all die virgins. Art Share L.A., 801 E. Fourth Place, dwntwn.; Sat., July 5, doors open 7:30, event starts at 8 p.m.; $10. (213) 687-4278, artsharela.org.
Sat., July 5, 8 p.m., 2014
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