Art-of-Coding, an initiative to bring the demoscene onto the list of UNESCO intangible world cultural heritage as first digital culture

What is the demoscene?

The demoscene is an international computer art subculture focused on producing demos: self-contained, sometimes extremely small, computer programs that produce audio-visual presentations. The purpose of a demo is to show off programming, visual art, and musical skills. Demos and other demoscene productions are shared at festivals known as demoparties, voted on by those who attend, and released online.

The demoscene’s roots are in the home computer revolution of the late 1970s, and the subsequent advent of software cracking. Crackers altered the code of video games to remove copy protection, claiming credit by adding introduction screens of their own (“cracktros“). They soon started competing for the best visual presentation of these additions.[1] Through the making of intros and stand-alone demos, a new community eventually evolved, independent of the gaming[2]:29–30 and software sharing scenes. (8.2.2019)

What is the broader context of the mission?

The Demoscene, which is born at the heart of the home computer revolution, has been showing how skills and creativity can be stimulated and implemented in a dynamic cultural practice adopted to digital contexts. Many of its techniques and mindsets became core techniques and influences of the digital change, and are still vibrant today. Seven decades after the invention of computers we think it’s time to push for the next step to take born-digital culture seriously as part of our cultural heritage, starting an initiative to bring the demoscene onto the list of the UNESCO intangible world cultural heritage. So we invite all sceners and non-sceners to join us and support the initiative in the upcoming years.”

Andreas Lange & Tobias Kopka

Initiators of the campaign “Art of Coding”

The initiative will take some time, so naturally this page is work in progress and evolves over time

Please note: This page serves as basic information page and work in progress repository. The initiative will take years (check our NEWS section for on RECENT UPDATES), and hence everything on this website is to be understood as work in progress.
Like everything in the demoscene, it is a non-commercial and voluntary project, pushed forward as work and time permits.
Many conversations are already happening, as we recently came back from Nordic Game Conference and Assembly – but even things are already looking great, we are still just getting started and it is an open process for years to come.

So, if you are a (ex-)demosceners or from other interested parties or just someone who is interested to help in any way, please get in touch personally, as our next steps after a round of initial conversations on conferences and demoscene events like Assembly and Evoke will be to gather a strong international group of people interested to discuss and push forward the idea and initiative together. As this is not about us (and the longer it takes time the less it should be), this is about the demoscene – and in a broader sense – the status of digital culture in general.

If you want to help concretely:
we are looking for someone joining the team to help us with communications within the scene, a graphician to help us substitute the place holder-dkev style, and for more sceners to help us discussing and spreading the word in the scene.

Thank you!
Tobias & Andreas