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Like City Lights, Receding: ANSi Artwork and the Digital Underground, 1985-2000

Title:

Like City Lights, Receding: ANSi Artwork and the Digital Underground, 1985-2000

Hargadon, Michael A (2011) Like City Lights, Receding: ANSi Artwork and the Digital Underground, 1985-2000. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The rise of the Internet has obscured knowledge of the modes of mass online interaction that preceded it. Foremost amongst these was the Bulletin Board System (BBS), whose unique technological constraints encouraged the development of the art form known as ANSI. Through an examination of the economic paradigm shift that permitted mass adoption of microcomputers, the technological operating environment of the 1980s and 1990s and the ethos of the software piracy scene of that era, this thesis explains why this species of art took the form that it did, why artists chose to express themselves in this medium, and how ANSI defined the aesthetics of the online world between 1985 and the turn of the century. Far from a mere form of expression, the production and display of ANSI art on BBSes served as a signifier of and route to the acquisition of status within the sub rosa branch of autonomous dial-in computer systems that comprised the pre-Internet digital underground.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hargadon, Michael A
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:18 March 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Razlogova, Elena
Keywords:ANSI Art,Microcomputers
ID Code:7341
Deposited By:MICHAEL A. HARGADON
Deposited On:09 Jun 2011 11:19
Last Modified:09 Jun 2011 11:19
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