Tag Archives: ascii

ASCII Art Ensemble (1998-)


In 1998, tijdens 8CyberConf in een voormalig slachthuis in Budapest ontstond de idee om bewegend beeld voor internet aan te bieden, dat open en rechtenvrij moest zijn en ontworpen om te werken op oude media, zoals computers die alleen tekst kunnen weergeven.

De videoklassieker Deep Throat (1972) werd geconverteerd naar een tekstbestand, dat je ook op een oude TTY-terminal zou kunnen doorbladeren. Deze film werd gekozen vanwege de vele close-ups, essentieel voor pornografische films. De vele details zijn moeilijk te vertalen naar een eenvoudig overdraagbare tekst. In deep.ascii ziet men geen pornografische beelden maar slechts onleesbare ASCII-tekens.

De meeste mensen hadden destijds geen of oude computers. Veel technologie is ontworpen om menselijke beperkingen op te heffen maar brengt vaak nieuwe beperkingen met zich mee, waaruit weer nieuwe ideeën kunnen ontstaan. De ster van de film, Linda Lovelace, werd activiste tegen misbruik van vrouwen in de porno-industrie.

In 1998, during 8CyberConf in a former abbatoir in Budapest the idea was put forward to offer moving images, that had to be open and unlicensed and designed to run on old media as well, such as computers that can only render tekst.

De video classic Deep Throat (1972) was converted to a text file, which one could browse on an old TTY-terminal as well. The film was chosen because of the many close-ups, that are essential to porn movies. Too many details is difficult to convert into a simple transferable text. In deep.ascii there are no pornographic images but indecipherable ASCII-versions.

In those days, most people had no or old computers. Much technology is designed to overcome human limitations, but can often cause new limitations, out of which new ideas can rise. The star of the movie, Linda Lovelace, turned activist against abuse of women in the porn industry.


Ascii Art Ensemble
Ascii Art Ensemble
A copy of the former two links on this website.
8Cyberconf (sadly, streaming videos unavailable)

Literatuur — Literature

Josephine Bosma: ASCII Art Ensemble, in Telepolis
Inke Arns: ASCII Art Ensemble: ASCII Art, in MedienKunstNetz

ASCII Art Ensemble


deep.ascii (still); streaming text, 63 minutes
deep.ascii (still); streaming text, 63 minutes

The group (Walter van der Cruijsen, Luka Frelih, Vuk Ćosić) met in Amsterdam to materialize an idea that was floating in meetings at various european Internet conferences and festivals during the last three years. Basically the big goal was to come up with a net based moving ascii.
The premises of Worldwide Video Festival were at our disposal for a week in august 1998, thanx.

Immediate Goals
The very first things to do were the most obvious ones – the javascript and java players for moving ascii images.

Mid Term Goals
After the two players are done, the idea is to create a fast converter that would enable us to create moving ascii in real time.

Long Term Goals
After bringing moving ascii to the net through the mentioned steps, the final goal – or one of the next steps – is to create a RealPlayer G2 plug-in with the new file type.

Contents Projects
0. ASCII to Speach history of art for the blind by applying the txt->speech software
1. History of Moving Images a series of seven clips giving the overview of the evolution in style and the display and distribution media.
2. Deep ASCII a version of Deep Throat in ascii is displayed on a Pong Arcade, more here.
3. ASCII Wall is a project planned together with the good people of Redundant Technologies and consists in creation of a a video wall of old monitors in order to do larger projections.
4. MTV stream is about hooking any broadcast signal and streaming the ascii version.
5. History of Silent Film on CD-ROM offering several milestone films in full length.

ASCII Art Ensemble. Walter van der Cruijsen, Luka Frelih, Vuk Cosic (1998)


Free software

ASCII Art Ensemble ASCIImator

The original java-player was built by Luka Frelih and written in java and originally bundled with deep.ascii – forever meme of the week last week. There is a workaround for Macos/Netscape users that requires the Mozilla MRJ plugin. ASCIImator.java source code to build your own player.


Moving ASCII Links
ASCII Animation Links
Static ASCII Links