glitch art, online pornography, porn art, remix art
domenicobarra.db [a] protonmail.com
Viittaaminen / How to cite: Barra, Domenico. 2017. ”Ascii Pron Remix Art”. WiderScreen 20 (1-2). http://widerscreen.fi/numerot/2017-1-2/ascii-pron-remix-art/
Ascii Pron Remix Art is a reformatted version of the first pornographic art published and shared on the internet. What you will see in the coming pages is not ASCII art, but screenshots, a record of the Ascii Pron Remix happening in a text editor on my computer.
The idea in Ascii Pron Remix was to create “glitched versions” of the original ASCII pornography available online on many websites that have galleries featuring ASCII porn art, such as Textfile and Ascii Pron. I have been making glitch art and working with internet pornography for some years and I have glitched a huge amount of pornographic pictures, videos and GIFs, appropriating the material from various online sources and discovering the way porn is produced and shared on the World Wide Web.
I then make art out of the material, trying to problematize the readability of pornographic images and publishing them on various social media sites, posts on Facebook groups and walls, screenshots on Instagram, tweets on Twitter and last but not least, as Tumblr’s blogs such as Pirate Porno Material 1, Pirate Porno Material 2 and Red Link District. I take these projects from the World Wide Web and bring them AFK on street and public toilet walls using stickers with QR-codes that link to the projects online, creating access points to these dirty new media projects online. After all, it is the distribution and publishing that altered pornography everywhere.
I was wondering if there was a way to “glitch” text-based art and I came up with the idea of making copy/paste ASCII art in text editing software, trying to reformat their original style. I got the most interesting results from the text tool in Photoshop CS6 that suited as the best choice to keep the ASCII art as an altered edit but with a recognizable form. I kept focusing my research and creation on online pornography production. The original works here were copied from the sources mentioned above (Textfiles and Asciipr0n) and then pasted using the text tool in Photoshop. I selected among many fonts (Figure 1) what I felt was the best one and kept the text highlighted to give the text a shadow touch. I then used the <ctrl+stamp> function to copy and paste the screen in Microsoft Paint. The final outcomes were then cropped and saved in .bmp pixel image format.
When I was working with online pornography I understood that porn is accessible basically everywhere and it is also so easy to do so. Working with the images, I realized that the quality of images, thanks to constant improvements of screen and internet technologies, was reaching levels of high definition that were unimaginable some years ago. Back then even poor quality pictures took long to upload. The online pornography today is probably not the best known to mankind but it surely has the best image quality ever.
The first pornography to circulate on the internet was far away from contemporary online porn and it was presented under the form of ASCII art and produced with graphic design techniques. We are talking about the times of bulletin board systems (BBS), Fidonet, e-mail, telnet, usenet and gopher. I wanted to push the problematizing approach in porn production and in porn reading a bit further and so I decided to apply the “glitch” text technique I was experimenting to ASCII porn, often spelt wrong as “Ascii Pron”. The results I got from this process were really exciting, and having all of the different types of fonts available it was just really a wide field of discovery of how much it is possible to depict just using ASCII characters.