Blog - Charney Kaye -

Algorithmic Media in the Demoscene

In the 1980s, the Commodore 64 computer became widely available, making computer technology more accessible to households. This led to the emergence of new digital art forms, including demos, which are animated music videos created using mathematical code and programming.

The **Demoscene subculture, which focuses on creating and appreciating demos, also developed due to this new technology. Demos are unique from traditional videos as they are made using computer technology and programming rather than physical interaction. This development in computer technology has opened up new opportunities for art and continues to evolve rapidly.

But existing art forms were just some of the ones to be re-implemented on these computers; brand new art forms also appeared, ones thought impossible up to that point. Computers allowed the creator to produce visuals and sound effects and combine them to create the ultimate audiovisual experience by using only the language of mathematics and writing program code without physical interaction. As a result of such techniques, demos were born, and with them, the Demoscene subculture. A demo is a spectacular animated music video, usually a few minutes long. And yet it’s something entirely different from a traditional video.

The Demoscene and the video game industry have evolved alongside each other since the 1980s. Both initiatives were heavily influenced by the technology of the time, and many early demos were created using the same hardware and software as video games. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Demoscene was primarily focused on creating demos that pushed the hardware’s limits, showcasing the capabilities of the computers of the time. These demos were typically made by individuals or small groups and were distributed online or at computer events.

As the technology and capabilities of computers have improved over time, the Demoscene has evolved to include more complex and visually impressive demos, often using 3D graphics and other advanced techniques. Additionally, the Demoscene has grown to include more collaboration and competition, with large groups working together to create demos for events such as the Assembly demoparty.

The video game industry has also grown and evolved alongside the Demoscene. As technology has advanced, video games have become more visually impressive and have incorporated many of the same techniques and technologies used in demos. Additionally, many individuals and groups involved in the Demoscene have gone on to work in the video game industry, bringing their skills and experience with them.

Overall, the Demoscene and video game industry have evolved together, influencing each other’s development and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with computer technology.