Mistigris 10/14 infofile by Cthulu
Mistigris 10/14 infofile by Cthulu
happy fourth birthday mistigris. we wish you the very best.
may your talent and dedication serve as an example to our
scene as the definition of success.
Well, as it turns out, 1998 didnt work out quite that neatly, and we never
quite made it to four years. But lets skip back to February of that fateful
year of 1994...
Cthulu: Youre such a liar! NO WAY did you log on to Digital Holocaust.
The phone number isnt even public!
Creideiki: Not public to lamers, at least!
When I get home today Ill see if my new user application has been approved.
Phalse: But where did you get the digits?
Private boards are only for couriers and elites!
Creideiki: Easy, I told the SysOp that I was a computer artist.
Zamfir Worshipper: How do you think hes going to respond
when he finds out that youre not?
Creideiki: How hard can it be?
And so he, then I, joined NWA, which turned into iMPERiAL, which promptly
collapsed in grand fashion. And then... Following what appeared to be, in the
microcosm of the BBS-based computer art community, an eventful summer whose
political twists and turns NATiON! TRiBE! would no doubt go down in the
history books, the first Mistigris artpack, MIST1094.ZIP, was released in
October of 1994, coordinated by me, a callow youth of some fifteen and a half
years. Yo Cthu, can we get a few more commas in here?
Well, let, me, see, what, I, can, do,,,,,,,,,
skipping lightly ahead past all the good stuff...
The final Mistigris release, M-9806.ZIP, was released four months shy of four
years later, at which time the technological landscape looked considerably
different from how the terrain would have been surveyed back in 94. Big fish
brands in a small pond such as FidoNet, TradeWars, DesqView, Blue Wave and US
Robotics would all be relegated to the status of historical footnotes in a
matter of months flourishing digital creative environments such as the Amiga
had been diminished to boutique specialist niches and in the wake of Windows
95 and now Windows 98 oh, and let us not forget OS/2, which was running our
local train system up until a few months ago, MS-DOS was on its way there as
well. Heck, ACiD even stopped releasing ANSI and iCE became best-known for
its hirez exquisite corpses! Cats and dogs, living together...
I interrupt this apocalyptic nostalgia for a moment of perspective: as of
today, its been 16 and one quarter years since the last well, most recent
Mistigris artpack release. Otherwise put, a child born on the day our final
pack dropped would now be older than I was when we started operations. And
Ive been missing the sweet spot my 35 artpack releases with Mist entailed for
half of my life now!
M-9806.ZIP was an unassuming release, not apparently intended as the groups
final swan song pack a successor was ready to roll with a hopper full of
computer art a bit light on the textmode side, admittedly, and there was no
clear indication that the wild ride had come to an end, that we would be
delaying for not just one month, but for... huh, two hundred of them!
So... Its been a while. Bear with me please as I exercise some deeply
atrophied muscles.
There were some Mist releases you may not have noticed or been aware of, as I
did my part to maintain the viability of the Mistigris brand -- scouting for
talent, making inquiries, logging consular appearances at demoparties -- for a
couple of years following what had not yet been acknowledged by me to be its
final conventional artpack release... at least, up until now. Admittedly
things have been pretty quiet on the Mist front since 2000 or so, making it
understandable if youd thought wed gone down for the last time. You cant
keep a good man down... nor us, it seems.
* artdisk-.zip - Mistigris Best-of anthology distributed on
floppy diskette at a Living Closet event at the Church of
Pointless Hysteria, July 23rd, 1999. There were a few problems
with this well-intentioned attempt to marry a declining computer
art community with a burgeoning live performance one: first, an
attempt to survey highlights of nearly four years of releases
including exclusive last chance for me to release these!
inclusion of several virtuous works Id been sitting on for a
rainy day on a single floppy diskette biased curation toward the
compact and minimalist second, even the people who still had
working floppy drives in that bold post-iMac world were
disinclined to pop random disks found at parties into their
machines, indicating that clearly I was attending the wrong kinds
of parties. The original run was in an edition of some 15 or so
disks, and I think maybe 3 of them were taken. For a time the
anthology lived on in webpage form, then faded into cosmic
background radiation when that free hosting dried up. The next
few months will see a reissue of this highlights reel under its
original filename see above, for those interested in getting a
refresher crash course in just why this retrograde dead end is so
worth celebrating again.
* prjct006.zip - Mistigris World Tour April Fools release, The
Project, August 1999. Humour has pervaded the artscene perhaps
inevitable while so insistent on reproducing Rob Liefelds
impossible anatomical mistakes while its participants have
simultaneously approached its intangible affairs with serious
rigor, but rarely did we encounter an endeavour with a puckish
sense of humour so ingrained into its DNA as the conceptual art
series The Project by madASScow. I know, with a name like that
youd expect a solemn kind of focus, but no. When they announced
a textmode special I found an opportunity to put to use a
selection of fundamentally unusable naive ANSI art Id perversely
squirreled away for another April Fools Mist pack that would
never come to pass or would it?, including the only material
wed ever released from one of the greatest polymaths who ever
sojourned under our affiliation, Talonswift -- and the eminently
cringeworthy early attempts at ANSI art created by your humble
author before concluding that his poetry pointed to a more
promising future. Speaking of which...
* getready.zip - Get Ready To Read, Cthulus collected
illustrated lits, January 2000. Following Israfels fall from
grace when ACiD merged with GOTHiC in April 94, there was no
place for creative writing and poetry in the membership of the
artscenes top-echelon ensembles. Because we could never do
things the easy way, Mistigris found itself a refuge of sorts for
the endangered form of creative expression and critically, was
led by a proponent of the form, who would be impossible for
another group to poach, boldly forging onward in championing a
possible future computer art scene where poems didnt have to end
with a BBS ridiculous name or ANSIs be capped with a logo for a
BBS ridiculous name, for that matter in order to be released in
an artpack. This approach gave Mist packs a radically different
texture from those of other groups, who remained largely unswayed
by our vanguard example. For whatever reason, my rhymes and
metres were tolerated and even requested when backsliding to the
simpering BBS-advertising mode, granting me the ability to
appear, in illustrated collaborations, in releases of groups who
would never allow me to join. There were a lot of these
collaborations, commissioned with many highly-skilled visual
artists, and of course I had the chance to work with more than a
few Mistigris illustrators, being the ones I had closest at hand.
By achieving the wider release and more prestigious placement, I
hoped that the demonstration of the great work we were up to would
stimulate greater interest in lit generally and Mistigris
specifically, as its single densest quality hub, but it turns out
that things didnt end up panning out that way. Anyhow, this
archive was the 1 download from Acheron in the month of its
release! A big splash or a rapidly shrinking scene? You be the
So, here we are. With the year 2000 out of the way, that just about brings us
up to the present. I privately noted our 10-year anniversary to myself in
2004, but I didnt expect anyone else who had so enthusiastically bailed out
on that world so relatively recently to have any tenderness for it yet Mist
had at that point only been put to bed for as long as it had been active --
the corpse hadnt yet rotted enough for flowers to grow over the grave. I
began actively planning an artscene retrospective gallery exhibition this
year, but though others have successfully pulled off the feat before and
since, and though I was actively helping to run an art gallery in the interim,
a decade has not been enough time for me to bring the dream to fruition.
The 10-year anniversary of our final release, in 2008, was still too soon for
people to look back with a tender glimmer of nostalgia, though perhaps with
increasing age weve become more cognizant of what weve lost and left behind.
I noted and quite frankly Im very confident that I was the only one who did
on my long-term radar in the spring of 2014 that this would, in an alternate
timeline, have been year 20 on Mistigris schedule for world domination, and
decided to make some easy-pitch inquiries to onetime members with a six-month
lead time. To my astounded delight, its been just long enough such that
people replied with fondness and interest. Also with much incredulity that
it would be possible, even were it desirable, for them to pick up the tools
they had set aside 16 years prior, and with skepticism that the zenith of
their youthful art had ever been anything worth sharing, creating or
This well and truly ends with us fully up to speed: making and sharing
computer art reminds me of joys from a previous life, but of course the
greatest thrill has been reconnecting with these old comrades, most of whom
have been off the radar for the better part of two decades and some of whose
real names were never known in the first place! which, to be sure, made
looking them up on Facebook quite problematic. Not all of the fifty-odd and
some downright strange veterans of the 90s computer art trenches Id rounded
up were in a position to contribute to this artpack, but being back in contact
with them at least opens the door. I only regret missing out on reconnecting
with those I was unable to locate. Lady Blue! Corinthian! Grinch!
Skrubly! Are you out there?
The thing that prompted the creation and release of the artpack which you are
currently enjoying was my ageing stockpile of computer art which had been
curated, submitted, gathered and stored with the intention of being released
someday in an artpack, mostly dating to the period 1998-2000. You may note
that this archive here, the one that you are currently viewing, primarily
consists of quite recent work, strangely enough. I wanted to release a Mist
pack for the occasion and figured that I would finally discharge the pile-up
of history on my hard drive or as I like to put it, declare a general amnesty
on all imprisoned works of art -- basically I lined up my old cronies in
hopes of finding an audience for the bygone and forgotten works among their
onetime creators. But to my surprise and delight, many of them felt
passionately about providing a demonstration of how hot their stuff is today.
That makes for this awesome artpack you are currently enjoying, a respectable
showing in this positively Blocktronic era. But Im still sitting on the
backlog. We considered lumping it all together, but opted against due to the
risk of embarrassing confusion between My Art, 1998 and My Art, 2014. One can
really appreciate the depth of tone and maturity of theme in the newer work now
that we see them side by side and can appreciate the wealth of life experience
that has enriched the perspective of their creator. What do you mean, thats
the older piece?
So do please keep your eyes open: in the very near future not just near in
the context of 16-year delays Ill be releasing at long last M-9808.ZIP, the
complete pack we never shared, then another -- containing at least a hundred
pieces of never-before-viewed-by-the-artscene computer artwork. And then, who
knows! There are archives and music disks like The Bells Of Yule hm...
sounds... December-ish unobtainable today needing to be reissued Im sorry,
but: its necessary, plus Im sitting on two complete uncoded e-mags and ten
or so competitions worth of unreleased Blenders... and, who knows, having been
reintroduced to the idea of working together, members of the Mistigris crew
may take pleasure in resuming doing so. Im going to optimistically propose
another Mistigris artpack release of new work in one years time, for October
Do please look for M-9808.ZIP and everything that follows wherever artpacks
are to be found. Uh... where exactly are artpacks to be found these days?
On IRC? Did we reconcile with the administrators of the Hornet FTP site?
Ill have to check up on Superunknown and Acheron.
Just kidding! Of course, youre presumably checking this artpack out on
sixteencolors.net or artpacks.org youll have to download the whole pack to
enjoy the music, though!, and were on Facebook, and many thanks to our
fellow traveller mattmatthew for getting us set up with mistfunk.tumblr.com,
where we can showcase Mistigrisian OK, contest time: we need a better
adjectival form... Mistigrudlian? creations both old and new. In fact, my
main contribution to this anniversarial release will be going up live there,
exclusively, shortly, because even if throwing mp3s in an artpack is no longer
a big deal, I dont know if were ready for digital video yet.
Lost but not forgotten,
Turns out after all this time, I can safely report that I have no trouble
returning to writing infofiles. My problem is, predictably enough, stopping
writing them.
rz tr
M istigris funk 98!