Jason Scott and RaD Man: 100 Years of the Computer Art Scene
Notacon Conference, Cleveland, OH (April 23-25th, 2004)

Since the first time that machines could calculate, people have twisted, modified, hacked and played with them to create art. In a fast-paced hour, we're going to do our best to capture 100 years of computer art, the magic of the art scene, the demo scene, and a dozen other "scenes" that have been with us as long as computers have. Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of visual and audio history as your two over-the top scene pilots take you on "the story so far" to the artscene.

Jason Scott is the creator of the textfiles.com family of websites, covering a wide range of computer history with a focus on dial-up bulletin board systems and early internet. Over the six years of running the sites, his mission has expanded to include audio, PDF, the artscene (demos and other graphic works) and basically anything technological and old. For the last three years, Jason has been traveling the country interviewing subjects for an epic 3-DVD documentary/mini-series on dial-up bulletin board systems. (www.bbsdocumentary.com) He has interviewed over 200 people, including his co-speaker, RaD Man. Jason's last con appearance was as keynote and regular speaker at Rubi-con 5.

RaD Man is founder and president of ANSI Creators in Demand, now simply known as ACiD (www.acid.org). This art group has run for over 14 years with regular releases of artpacks, BBS mods and software products, including ACiDdraw (1994) and The Product, an electronic magazine. Now in "retirement", he has aimed his energy at documenting the artscene and history that has led up to it. he is both a subject in Jason Scott's documentary and a researcher working behind the scenes to ensure its accuracy. Recently, he finished work on a DVD-ROM of 14 years of artpacks by ACiD and many others called Dark Domain (2004), available at http://www.darkdomain.org/.

MP3s of the Presentation (50 minutes)

64kbit Version (23mb)
128kbit Version (47mb)
192kbit Version (71mb)

Transcription of 100 Years of the Computer Art Scene, by Ghost Rider (47k)

Ghost Rider of ACiD has transcribed the full talk into ASCII format. The transcription includes some corrections of facts, as well as information on audience reaction and other facts about the talk.

Photos of the Presentation

Relevant Images and Illustrative Noises

Being more about artistry and social aspects than technical issues, this talk relied heavily on visual and sound cues to illustrate points. To assist in following along, most of the relevant images being discussed are provided here in gallery form. There are also two mp3 files and two computer demos. In the case of the demos, they are for Windows machines and are 64k.


IBM 1403 Printer: Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (1.9mb)
IBM 1403 Printer: Blue Danube Waltz (2.4mb)

DEMOS (Windows Executables)

Farbrausch 019: Poem to a Horse
Farbrausch 030: Candytron

Early Computers, Printer


Woman's Face
Roxanne (Pin-Up)

Apple II Crack Screens

PC Crack Screen (The FiRM)

ANSI Art, Early Years

ANSI Art, 1990s