If you give people a way to express themselves, two things will happen: Creativity and Competition.

So it has been with computers and electronics since the first years of the vacuum tube and the transistor; People have always tried to inject a little human creation onto the bare metal of these systems, finding ways to make the machines play music or show artwork or do things in a new and surprising way. While some debate might exist as to whether these sorts of projects should be considered "art", it's quite obvious that the people who spent the hours wringing something new and different out of the hardware and software thought it was.

What the proliferation of the personal computer brought was a new and striking medium for thousands of people who might not have otherwise thought themselves artists to work in, many times creating the first example of a given technique or approach. And with the personal computer came an amazing raft of standards intended to make the saving of data more efficient and compact. As a new standard made itself known (ASCII, ATASCII, VT100, ANSI, RIP and many others), people would flock from around the world to try their hand at creating something worth showing to others in that new realm. In ways the standard-makers never intended or expected, these new artworks came firing out from every direction, passed among BBSes and the later the Internet, transmitted from modem to modem, traded by disk between people meeting at social gatherings.

And in these social gatherings, both online and offline, came the first computer art scenes.

More etherial than the creation of a type of artwork is the creation of a "scene" based around the people working in that medium. Looking back, one can usually find an event or release of work that signalled the "beginning" of a scene, but it's usually a result of social ties and relationships existing for years before. Like many social groups, the members fade in and out, some staying for years while others just stop by to drop off an idea or single piece they thought might be appreciated. There are often arguments within this social group over who deserves to be in it, who is doing the best and most memorable work, and who is doing harm to the fragile human relationships that the group depends on. While some scenes may only last a few months and have at most a small handful of members, other scenes have gone on for decades and touched so many lives they can't possibly be counted.

This website arose out of a need to capture in one place as many scenes as possible, pulling all the hard work of hundreds of artists into one place for others to see. An attempt has been made to gather creations under general headings, focusing on one particular medium or a group of artists who were particularly profified. It will never be complete, but perhaps this will be a great starting point to learn more about a given scene that may be dormant or forgotten, and perhaps renew interest in it once more. More than all this, though, is the art itself, incredible work that can still touch people and amaze them once more.

Sometimes these artworks come with the usual trappings and pitfalls of human interaction: the threats, the arguments, the bravura, and the overriding paranoia that outsiders have invaded the community and will destroy it. Occasionally, you will see long-standing battles and ludicrous boasts peppered among the works. You will also see incredible humor, fantastic talent, and an unspoken bond between all these folks, good and bad, who are all part of a self-reliant team of artists and hangers-on who want to make the best of the best.

This is the wonder of the artscene.