Everyone knows I'm also a big fan of Cory (both personally and professionally) so take my comments with that in mind :-)
OK, now I've declared. (It won't do any good--I will be punished.)
We're not talking about "these crits," though, we're talking about Johnson's, and nowhere does she mention 8-bit or Cory's roots except to say the work "is not the exercise in fun it usually is." I agree with that. Sans Simon was funny, the Slayer concert cell phone call was funny. "blah blah...participatory culture" was very earnest and dull. The title says it all, it sounds like a Master's thesis and it's not over the top enough to work as irony. And like so much academic conceptualism, each piece required that you go up to the gallery desk to get the back story.
And as for "these crits," which crits? There was no public criticism of the show that I'm aware of.
To me the issue wasn't the loss of the 8-Bit dimension so much as the irreverent dimension. The earlier pieces were "who gives a fuck" versions of more serious new media art (or Douglas Gordon type video art). Fat bits hockey games? A packet sniffer that detects Boo-Yah Tribe? Who has ideas that good?
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan is just square (boomer) subject matter, and why do Lucier again? How many artists have done "xeroxes of xeroxes until you get snow"? Bruce Springsteen is square, too, a middle of the road Seventies rocker--not bad enough to be "good bad." Who cares that Born to Run has glockenspiel? It's nerdy all right, but not worth fetishizing with a limited edition vinyl art piece. The concept required several sentences to explain, in contrast to "Slow Tetris."
When you take away the brilliant humor, you are left with derivative work.
More important than Johnson's Tiger Lily comparison were the questions that preceded it. "What does the work gain by outsourcing labor that has already been completed? Was it necessary to make a feature length movie? Does the film’s narrative support the alteration?" Linklater's Dazed and Confused is superb, an inherently self critiquing, smart film. The out of kilter, dubbed Indian voices made it a travesty--why do that? It may be an asshole gesture, but unlike Total Asshole Compression it isn't funny, it's an ordeal to watch. (I grew to dislike that piece--or my memories of it--even more over time.)