Documentary Screening: "The Art of Warez"

All Hands Active

255 E Liberty St Basement Suite #225 · Ann Arbor, MI

How to find us

We're underneath Afternoon Delight, in the basement. Wheelchair accessible entrance is behind the building in the parking lot, near the alley. Go inside, down the elevator on the left, and down the hallway.

Location image of event venue


In the early internet/pre-internet days of the 80s and 90s, users with a modem would dial-in to Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) to communicate, chat on public message boards, play text-based games, and share files. As the sharing of pirated software grew, so did the custom of bundling them with ANSI art crediting the crackers that provided the software, like hacker graffiti. Over time this art form evolved and stood on its own, with artists and crews pushing the boundaries of this 8-bit art form, and releasing art packs separate from any warez.

Please join us as we watch "The Art of Warez"! This 30-minute film is unrated, but we would describe it as PG-13, and totally cool.

If you're interested in graffiti, pirating software, hacker/cracker subculture, or reminiscing about BBSes and old computers, you'll love this.

"A new documentary, The Art of Warez, directed by artist and filmmaker Oliver Payne in collaboration with one-time ANSI artist Kevin Bouton-Scott, dives into this world of warez and ANSI art."
-DJ Pangburn, VICE

“Whilst graffiti exists illegally on private and public property, ANSI originally existed on (and to take credit for) illegally pirated software. As they are criminal activities, both require anonymity and the use of a tag name to achieve notoriety within the scene. The best artists create fresh fonts using crazy color combinations and go hard to make as many dope ANSIs as they can. It's totally hacker graffiti and the folk art movement of the proto cyber crime scene.”
-Oliver Payne