New film by Oliver Payne explores the ANSI art scene

Buzz, Film

THE ART OF WAREZ is a short film about the virtually unknown world of the ANSI art scene, to be released on 31 July, 2019.

There was a time before the internet, in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, when computer users would communicate through the telephone lines by leaving messages for one another on Bulletin Board Systems or BBS’s.

This would become a very early form of file sharing as Hackers and Pirates would use BBS’s to illegally distribute cracked software, known as Warez, and all sorts of other illegal materials.

The graphical display of BBS’s was called an ANSI.

ANSI art was the visual component to the BBS scene and the subculture of hackers, software pirates and computer game crackers.

These were simple pictures made from coloured blocks, created by using the keyboard. Before long ANSI art took on a life of its own and an underground art movement was born.

During this time, there was an explosion of output as ANSI artists formed crews and competed to release the best ANSI’s.

The arrival of the internet and the changes to computers it introduced killed the ANSI scene and the majority of the artworks were lost in the process.

This is the story of PRE INTERNET HACKER GRAFFITI, copyright theft, stolen long-distance phone calls and pictures of fantasy warriors, comic book monsters, naked ladies and graffiti B-Boys.

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