Demoscene, or Decentering Digital Media

Critical Writing
Publication Type: 
Public Domain
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Abstract (in English): 

Digital media, which are today dominant in social communication, serve also different types of creative expression (video games, new media art, electronic literature, demoscene). It is trivial to say that digital media are dominated by the English language. Both most recognized theoretical texts as well as canonical works are in the English language. And it is the West that is treated as dominant in this area. However, only over the past few years have we seen a new trend emerging, one which aims to discover what has happened in areas that the center has meaningfully called the “end (s)”. Particularly interesting are the perspectives and phenomena that have developed without influence or inspiration from the center in question (for example, communist countries beyond the Iron Curtain or the non-Latin languages, like Arabic or Chinese).

There is no strong scientific recognition of the distinctiveness of the approach to digital media in eastern countries. Both a lack of access to hardware and legal software under communism, as well as exclusion of the peripheries after the transformation gave rise to a number of local phenomena as cloning hardware, creating independent software, and widespread creative programming. The best proof of this is the demoscene – an underground subculture which developed in Europe (also in Central and Eastern Europe), with no comparable phenomena in other areas of the world.

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Record posted by: 
Piotr Marecki