The pixel (derived from picture element) is the smallest homogeneous element of an image. Its on-screen attributes are luminosity, color, and blinking. The resolution of a screen is determined by the number of pixels per line and the total number of lines.

Pop Art
The term "Pop Art" was used for the first time by English critic Lawrence Alloway to characterize the manifestations of popular culture (television, advertising, magazines) that were considered inferior to high culture. Alloway, who was a member of the Independent Group that met sporadically at the Institute for Contemporary Art in London, called for an art that would reflect contemporary experience and popular culture. He went on to organize two rallying exhibitions, including "This Is Tomorrow" (Whitechapel Gallery, 1956, where Richard Hamilton, another member of the Independent Group, presented his famous collage Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?, which anticipated all the aspects of Pop Art. A second generation of artists drawing their inspiration from media culture, including Peter Blake, David Hockney, Richard Smith, and Allen Jones, subsequently came to the forefront of the English art scene. Around the same time in the United States, Robert Rauschenberg proposed an alternative to Abstract Expressionism with his combine-paintings of diverse objects, while Jasper Johns, playing on illusion and reality, repainted beer cans, targets, and American flags. The real had entered art, and its most trivial aspects, drawn from consumer culture, was to occupy various artists working in New York, such as Claes Oldenburg, with his deformations of functional objects like telephones or toilet bowls, Roy Lichtenstein with his borrowings from the comic strips, James Rosenquist with his billboard montages of banal images, George Segal with his lifesize plaster figures frozen in everyday situations, Tom Wesselmann with his Great American Nudes, and Andy Warhol with his multiples of contemporary icons like the Coke bottle or Marilyn Monroe. These artists worked with mechanical processes such as photography or silkscreen, thus obtaining a flat rendering that denied all subjective emotion. The consumer industry adopted Pop Art as an antidote to the rigidity of High Art. The term Pop, which spread to music and fashion, corresponded to an entire way of life among young people in the 1960s.
Bibliography: Lucy Lippard, Pop Art (New York: Praeger, 1966). Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: An International Perspective (New York: Rizzoli, 1992).

The Portapak was the first light half-inch video unit, launched on the American market by Sony in 1965. It included a camera and a portable black-and-white tape deck.Thanks to a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, Nam June Paik became the first artist to buy such a light video unit. He inaugurated his brand-new Portapak by taping the taxi ride from his New York studio to the Café Au Go-Go, where, on 4 October 1965 he showed the resulting tape accompanied by a text entitled "Electronic Video Recorder."

In the late 1970s and 1980s, the idea of "postmodern" was applied to both the visual arts and architecture. Postmodernism in the visual arts constituted a reaction to modernist theory and a rejection of the twentieth-century avant-gardes. Modernism, notably as it was theorized by the American art critic Clement Greenberg, may be defined as a tendency to "use the specific methods of a discipline to criticize that same discipline." The criteria for a painting were thus flatness, the shape of the canvas, and the properties of the paint. The work was judged and determined by the internal logic of its medium. The avant-garde had been rooted in a logic of rupture and renewal throughout the twentieth century, and Postmodernism was a reaction against this linear history of art. Postmodern works were to draw freely on different preexisting historical styles, making subjectivity an essential criterion for judgment. The past became a simple repertory of forms. The paintings of the Italian Transavangardia and the architecture of Ricardo Bofill are characteristic of this approach. Postmodernism in art is a correlary of the Western way of life. In Le Postmoderne expliqué aux enfants (Postmodern explained to children), Jean-François Lyotard writes: "When power is called capital rather than the party, the Transavangardist or postmodern solution, . . . seems more appropriate than the antimodern solution. Eclecticism is the degree zero of contemporary culture--we listen to reggae, watch Westerns, eat MacDonald's at lunchtime and local dishes at night, wear Parisian perfume in Tokyo and retro clothes in Hong Kong, and knowledge is a subject for TV game shows. It is easy to find a public for eclectic works of art. By becoming kitsch, art flatters the reigning disorder of the art-lover's taste. The artist, the dealer, the critic, and the public delight in anything and everything; laxity is the order of the day. But this realism of anything and everything is that of money--for lack of aesthetic criteria, it remains possible and useful to measure the value of artworks by the profits they earn. This realism adjusts to all trends, like capital adjusts to all needs, as long as the trends and needs have buying power."