₪ Future Potentials For ASCII Art


A. Bill Miller and I wrote a paper on ASCII art together last year, which was presesented at the French conference on computer art, CAC 3. Now we’re releasing it on chipflip.org behind a paywall! Nah, just kidding. This is PHR33 ZI3NCe w4R3Z!

Read Future Potentials For ASCII Art
(Logo by Spot/Up Rough)


For some purists, ASCII art is only representational text graphics that uses 128 characters. In this paper, we define it as a broader genre with several subcategories.

The paper explains some of the origins of ASCII art, such as square kufic, poetry, hacking, typewriters and net art. It briefly mentions the different levels in which ASCII art can be understood and manipulated (such as character encoding, typeface, screen).

We discuss the future potentials of ASCII art mainly in terms of non-representative art and the ways in which ASCII art affects the way we communicate. How, for example, tricky Unicode band names pushes us to come up with words for symbols we never talked about before (hey Prince!). Or how URLs, account names and text advertising has given new relevance to ASCII art skills, and also created new challenges for ASCII artists.

In that sense, ASCII has gone from object to subject. It is no longer only an invisible transmitter, but an active ingredient in the way humans communicate.

We’ve edited the original text slightly and added links and pictures. Without permission. Sorry. Enjoy! If you have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment or send a mail.

One Response to “₪ Future Potentials For ASCII Art”

  1. Our Academic Paper on ASCII Art « GOTO8O Says:

    […] (tl;dr version here) […]

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