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7y 7m 23d

Pixel Day 2023!

Posted by moawling - January 23rd, 2023

It's been 5 years since my last news post! but Pixel Day is a special day, so I wanted to write something :) I love this website so much, so this year I tried to make something meaningful. I'm so honored to work on this year’s site skin and banner for Pixel Day on Newgrounds! If you’re familiar with my previous Pixel Day illustrations, I’ve always depicted Newgrounds as a brightly-lit, illuminated cityscape. I love pixelling the signs and using them as an opportunity to pay homage to other artists.

While I still see Newgrounds as a space for generative creative expression, I also want to acknowledge the precarious state of the web. The internet has changed drastically since I first played games on Newgrounds. Over the past decades, the gentrification of the internet by certain companies (M*stercard, G**gle, App*e) has severely limited artists' ability to create and share their respective works.

One of the most notable examples of this is the trajectory of Adobe Flash. Steve Jobs strategically sabotaged Flash's reputation so Apple could have more control over app development and distribution.

In more recent years, the passing of FOSTA-SESTA in 2018 has led to increased policing and censorship of content on the web. This policy has resulted in aggressive automated moderation and the de-platforming of various individuals (remember Tumblr?). The various forms of algorithmic automation is not meant to prioritize users but to prioritize profit.

This year, the Pixel Day’s virtual internet city is a little fucked up structurally. The buildings are crumbling and falling apart. However, the signs are brightly lit and vegetation is growing. Despite the ruins, life and creativity still persist.

In the language of the organic and the digital, this year’s banner is heavily inspired by my favorite artist, Nam June Paik. Paik, Nam June is known as the grandfather of television art! He was active during the Fluxus movement, an international multi-media art movement that challenged the conventions of classical music, art, and education! Whenever I think about Newgrounds and the impact of Flash on the web, I can't help but think about Nam Jun Paik's optimism regarding technology: its potential to bridge knowledge and cultural experiences.

The future will always be uncertain, but I am grateful and hopeful. Newgrounds has always prioritized its artists and I’m very honored to be part of this community. Happy Pixel Day, everyone!

Recommended reading for people who wanna learn more art history:

* Nam June Park’s “Expanded Education for the Paperless Society”- an experimental essay written in 1970 where he imagines a future of free education and cultural transformation through tv networks. It's not too dissimilar to the internet today <:)

* Nathalie Lawhead’s “A short history of Flash & the forgotten Flash Website movement”- A transcript of Nathalie’s talk on the history of Flash and its impact on the web




you have done an absolutely outstanding work on the banner and background, with so much meaning and such beauty!!!! this might be my favorite banner yet

thank u thank u that means a lot to me! I had a lot of fun making it! I hope u are having a great pixel day :)

I loved reading through this post. Beautiful background and banner art as always too! Happy Pixel Day!

thank u for reading! it's stuff that's always on my mind and i'm rly grateful to be able to have these discussions with ppl on newgrounds. HAPPY PIXEL DAY!

the way you talk about the banner and the day just shows how detailed and delicate everything you make REALLY is and it looks so beautiful !!!

pixel day has never felt so RETRO AND ENERGETIC

i adore the setting you built this year and everything reflects it so perfectly like the colours, lighting, SHAPE???????????

it feels like the coolest, most crisp fresh air to BREATHE in :))))))))))


you're very very kind thank u always SpunkyMonkeyNG for your support! Your comments are always brimming with enthusiasm anD pASSION and you're clearly someone that enjoys art and sharing that happiness with others :) HAPPY PIXEL DAY

Gentrification of the internet blows. Zach/Psychicpebbles's cartoon where God sends Steve Jobs to hell is aging like a fine wine with each passing year.

it's very very true,, honestly all of the anti-steve jobs cartoons from the earlier days are aging like WINE i hope ppl make more :)

gonna have to deep dive read about nam june park, amazing job on the background!

I love when an artist turns their frustrations into powerful art! I’ve been around long enough to see the Internet grow more corporate and censored with each passing day—truly saddening considering, when I first joined YouTube all those years ago (joined NG much later), I saw the Internet as a much-needed reprieve from a similar and more-rapid decline of free-ish speech on “traditional” television (even children’s cartoons seemed to have gotten away with more in the 1990s). Newgrounds is now a much-needed reprieve from a similarly-uncreative Internet, but I know I can’t take this relative freedom for granted, so I support the site monthly in hopes it helps inspired creatives like you share your unfiltered thoughts, and help me do the same!

awesome post moaw and love ur pixel art but i apologize ayo first reply from a dude with the username that's just the letter T ayo that shit crazy tf where u get ur username @t

@ninjamuffin99 hi im t

@ninjamuffin99 but real talk i asked tom fulper and he gave me the thumb finger

@t ayoooooooo

Great post, thank you for the reading reccs!

Great post, thank you for the reading reccs!

Great post, thank you for the reading reccs!

You absolutely killed it with the banner. you are a force to be feared