Patrick Lichty: Portraits in 8 Bits or Less

  • ©,



    Portraits in 8 Bits or Less


Creation Year:





    40 inches x 40 inches, 9 pieces 12 inches x 12 inches each


Artist Statement:

    When originally conceiving the translation of low-resolution digital photography to a physical form, I wanted to consider the historical precedents to the Cartesian image grid. The most logical of these is the Byzantine mosaic, which is a close ancestor of the digital bitmap. Although not rectilinear in the case of the Byzantine, the use of colored ready-made pieces of media to create a larger whole has a rich artistic tradition and is seen in arts and crafts from collage to needlepoint. This technique is a perfect match for low-resolution imaging and physical representations. However, the images in question were allowed to abstract themselves to a resolution of 8×8 pixels, where only the most basic elements of composition and form would remain. In this way, these seminal works in ceramic digital imaging would explore the aesthetics of translation from the digital to the physical and reassign the role of the portraiture to an abstracted composition.

Technical Information:

    These wall sculptures are translations into ceramic of portraits created from low-resolution images from my Casio Wristcam. The source images, already at a low 120×120 pixel x 256 grayscale resolution, were allowed to degrade to a sub-iconic resolution of 8×8 pixels and flattened to a two-bitplane depth (four grayscales). These images were then recreated using specially ordered tiles to match the tonal
    values in the images.