fsxNet Wiki

BBS Development & Resources

User Tools

Site Tools


ANSI Art Scene

The ANSI artform found wide popularity and distribution on BBS systems throughout North America and the world. Its use of standard computer symbols and colors by particularly talented individuals made it somewhat of a 'cult' art form and provided a springboard for talented computer artists in later years.

This form gave rise to a 'scene', or subculture community of artists who created competitive groups, similar to hackers (and sometimes overlapping these groups). These groups would assemble their best, most current art into downloadable 'packs' for distribution on BBS systems. These could be simply zipped packs of loose art with some text files explaining them, or encoded programs that displayed the art, sometimes with music in MOD format accompanying.

A subset of the broader ANSI art scene arose in 1993-1994, known as the 'Lit Scene'. Packaged and distributed similarly to ANSI art packs, zipped and uploaded to BBS systems throughout the United States and the world, Lit packs saw increasing popularity - and rising quality - until an abrupt end of the scene coincident with the explosion of the web-driven commercial Internet. These Lit packs often also contained ANSI art by authors and guest artists, and music that could be played by reader clients provided with the packs, composed on hexadecimal sound editors using instrument samples, typically in MOD format as originally developed on the Amiga and later also used on early Soundblaster-powered PC's. The effective replacement of the BBS scene with the Internet effectively decimated both sides of the ANSI and Lit scenes, creators and users.

Two of the most well-known and prolific Lit groups were Soulz at Zero and its successor Candelabra, the latter of which restarted as a website a few years after its initial run as a traditional BBS-driven distributed 'pack'-zine. Candelabra's run as a website lasted the better part of a decade. The leader of SaZ, The Stranger, and one of its best-known writers, WiSH, joined Candelabra, whose founder and original editor The Alienist had also contributed briefly to SaZ during its run. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANSI_art

"Art Scene" - BBS The Documentary

ansi/art_scene.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/29 01:58 (external edit)