MIST0221 newsletter by Cthulu, PDX/LDA/Odd
MIST0221 newsletter by Cthulu, PDX/LDA/Odd
So, Natralists observe, a Flea Hath smaller Fleasthat on him prey, andthese have smalleryetto bite em andso proceed, ad infinitum. Jonathan Swift
And were back! Coming off the massive and splendid music-themed MIST0121
artpack collection, the time is right for us to finally pivot to a new
direction -- prioritizing featuring fresh art by active community members over
thematic coherence demonstrated in art by virtual strangers -- and in so
doing, facing down a grave existential threat!
There was recently some talk about how our releases werent putting the proper
respectful emphasis on text art and how we were doing a grave disservice to
the textmode art community by misrepresenting them with our spotlight on
pixelart styles especially those amazing physical ones. Of course, we were
never making exclusively textmode artpacks -- all this time weve been making
underground computer artpacks, which traditionally included plenty of
different artforms and styles beyond the standard textmode eg. vector graphics
raytracing, loaders, tracker music, poetry, applications such as the
perennially popular -- and soon to be revamped! -- PabloDraw ANSI art editor,
etc. When possible, we included as much text art as we could tap. Indeed,
last month we shared an enormous quantity of it, far and away the vast
majority of the works included in the collection, but some still managed to
find irritation in it.
Its a somewhat absurd charge to make in the face of our having historically
been explicitly a refuge for those less popular computer art mediums in the
face of an artscene that had itself ahistorically turned away from them -- as
it ultimately did with ANSI art itself! I didnt choose to release lit in
Mist -- I had to keep Mist a viable concern because nowhere else would release
lit anymore! Hey, btw, check out my illustrated lit collaboration here with
MeaTLoTioN! In an upcoming installment of The BBS Is Back, you may have a
chance to see and hear me holding forth on all the fascinating exceptions in
the underground computer art scene, as though I hadnt been using our
infofiles as a platform to self-indulgently share my views on such topics ad
nauseam for literally years! Basically, our corrupting influence is inherent
to our founding administration, ie myself, and my own fidelity to my
interpretation of big tent historical artscene traditions in effect at the
time of my entry to the scene. The only way you can address it is by removing
me, and in so doing, decapitating and presumably destroying our community.
Anyhow, we never got anywhere playing to popular tastes or catering to critics
1998 was the year I tried to give everyone what they wanted after they
humoured my demented whims all through the Mistigris World Tour of 1997, and
not coincidentally it is also the year that half of the group walked out and
Mistigris crashed so hard it stayed dead for 16 years!, and I would never
succumb to bullying and change my curation style to appease an opponent -- I
am by far too great a contrarian to fold! But if you take that statement at
face value, you may be somewhat perplexed by the nevertheless textmode art-
filled pack we present to you this month. Naturally, contrarian as I am, I am
at the head of a vessel crewed by rugged individuals who will also not be told
what to do, by myself or by anyone else, and our direction ultimately results
from their collective creative decisions. In this case, they decided that
they really wanted to make rather a lot of textmode art in that time period.
Well, all right then! It only LOOKS like were waving the white flag.
Not necessarily apropos of anything, but its worth mentioning that the
mirror of our complete output has recently been updated and brought up to the
present over at the secondary artpacks.org web archive -- not that anything
should happen to our listings at 16colo.rs, its just prudent not to keep all
your eggs in one, er, web gallery! The entire contents of all Mistigris
releases can of course also be found at mistigris.org/packs! For
accessibility and backward-compatibility we have tried to mirror all textmode
art as bitmaps, all tracker music as MP3s and all infofiles as raw text. TIL!
So, as I earlier alluded, weve been working on whipping up a more active core
community -- our lively Mistfunk Discord try it for yourself at
discord.gg/SAKDGUYvnv to counter our populous but moribund Facebook community
but prove us wrong! at facebook.com/groups/279336738893383/. This means
both drawing in new artists to engage with us vs. simply getting their
permission to signal boost their work with credit, our previous approach and
establishing stronger connections with artists wed previously maintained
casual links to. From the first category, appearing in an artpack for the
first time ever, here you can find ANSI art by Godfather, the SysOp of the
Underground BBS working hard, as you can see, on a parallel project called
The Ruins, and a veritable mine-load of ANSI and PETSCII work by Tolkien fan
Dwimmer, who has been sitting on the textmode sidelines on Instagram for some
time wondering how to break in to the artscene! Here you go, consider it
well and truly broken! From the second category, we stirred up the amazing
Anton Van Oosbree on the occasion of Daft Punks retirement, courtesy of his
digital accordion adaptations of their songs, shared in our artpacks years
ago, and a casual conversational aside somehow led him to acquire a zesty
passion for minting teletext screens! This is no momentary fling, its
inspired him to finally confide in us an elite handle, the awesome
AtonalOsprey, which manages in one go to both hide nothing and obfuscate
everything, a wild trick deftly executed! Also as a youth showcase we feature
a likely one-off timely Minecraft voxelart scene by Iris, offspring of an
arts administration colleague I worked with in the years following the demise
of Mist Classic, just going to show that in the fullness of time all roads
lead back to computer art. Iris is possibly our youngest contributor ever!
But lets not try to smash that record, were already in the doghouse for all
the Lego blocks our audiences wind up treading on. This will likely also be
the final artpack appearance of the talented pixel artist formerly known as
C00K13M0N5T3R, since with only a shallow degree of connection, when an
artist whose sole point of contact with you is via Instagram changes their
username or deletes their account... game over, man!
To reiterate, going forward in the year of 2021, our intention is to stop
relying on the slushpile entire portfolios worth of art by virtuous
outsiders we obtain permission to share, then dispense as needed where
thematically appropriate, thus eschewing the habits and momentum leading us
to rely on its use for themed monthly releases. What that amounts to is that
this will probably be our final monthly artpack for some time while we shift
our focus to other community activities and projects! We cant get around
another slushy May visit from realms of science fiction -- the Force compels
us -- but in all likelihood we wont be releasing another unthemed artpack
until June, marking a full year since Burps observed that with the Textmode
Friends ANSI talent wed accidentally accrued, it would probably be possible
for the first time since 1997 for us to go forward as an ANSI artgroup without
leaning on the crutch of slush! The term slush is basically an endless
gift for lovers of utterly bizarre metaphors. Now wait until I tell you about
the Mistigris Skunkworks! It would have been nice to keep things going full
tilt until September, if only so we could have achieved the nice, round figure
of having gone 5 full years making monthly releases plus end-of-year bonus
packs as a feather in our cap, but there was also some urgency felt to
manifest the new direction weve been floating since last summer. But
really, after 25 years, whats a couple of months here and there? And if we
only manage to get two artpacks of fresh text art out in a five month period,
glacial as that pace may seem to those with their finger on the Mistigris
pulse, its really pretty par for the course for the rest of the underground
Now dont get me wrong: while our artpack release schedule is leaving the
monthly grind, we should still be making more releases of other types -- side
projects like electronic magazines, games, solo packs, art exhibitions,
merchandising, updating our social media presence because seriously, who is
representing textmode art on TikTok right now?, cleaning up and updating our
website, coming to terms with the neglected but substantial musical side of
our legacy, and possibly even cooking up a BBS the hip new hot trend setting
the world on fire! and another treasure hunt to launch it with for our
anniversary. I know, thats an overly-elaborate setup for what is framed as
merely a possible project 8 None of those have release dates associated with
them, but well make sure to announce them as they come to fruition.
In the meantime, well be co-presenting the next Blender IRC improvised art
competition April 17-18th on blender on the EFNet, further details at
mistigris.org/blender, weve got artpacks ahead scheduled for May and June
and, yknow, we cant get around October, November and December, plus you
can keep up with us on social media and out there in the world! Fewer
artpacks less often doesnt mean goodbye, it means... were going to try to be
a little more thoughtful about making the biggest impact with our best work.
Which should tell you about the sad fate of one of our oldest traditions, the
annual April Fools collection of bad art. Its pointless -- if they didnt
get the joke by now, theyre never going to.
Until next time, this is Cthulu, signing off!
PS, a big thanks to CoaXCable and Odd for the memberlist and FILEID.DIZ art,
and to Polyducks, LDA and Odd for the delightfully bizarre framing here.
Mistigris 2021: an endless gift for lovers of utterly bizarre metaphors