with radman, member of the scene for the last 10 years about
ACiD, life, his child and the scene in general...
Let me just say its pretty damned cool to be interviewing
the dude that started that group.. err.. shit, wtf is the
name of it?
Ok, lets get started with the boring questions.. Ready?
Yeah might as well get those out of the way.
Name, Sex, Age, Height, Weight, Live, Car. Answer them in
Okay... This will be really easy. I hope you don't have
a flood detect on.
Can not disclose.
Can not disclose.
Can not disclose.
Can not disclose.
Can not disclose.
Can not disclose.
What really makes me scared is that you actually pasted
the right amount of "Can not disclose." retorts.
That's scary shit man.
Okay I guess I can admit that sex should be implied by my
Anyways, we all know who the hell you are, and where you
came from.. But, alas, there may be the odd newbie out there
who does want to know the fabled beginnings of the great
radballserr.. RaD Man themselves..
did it all begin?
It all began in a small bedroom on a Compaq 50-pound "Portable"
computer and two 360K floppy drives. All self contained
I might add. It had it's own built-in amber monitor and
detachable full-size keyboard. That was the first computer
that I could call my own. Even tho the monitor could only
display in shades of amber (amber-scale?), it had a port
in the back where I could attach a color CGA monitor...
I bet you still have it
Yes I do -- it's an antique now which resides in one of
my garages, tucked away somewhere...
Tell me about AAA -- when and where did it start.. ANd did
you indeed use your 50 pound paperweight to draw ansi? :)
To be honest I dont know the explicit details of how AAA
began. I just accept the bragging rights for bringing it
up from a national to an international group. Aces of ANSi
Art was founded some time during the late nineteen eighties
by two 408 residents, Zyphril and Chips Ahoy. In 1988 I
submitted an application ANSI to them (drawn using my elite
50 lb system). It was a logo for one of our local h/p/a
groups called HEaT, with a lower case
of course was an acronym for something. Want to know what
Herpes Endangering Another Trojan?
Not quite... Hackers Enterprising across Telecommunications
I bet they made that up after the name "HEAT"
Actually a rather depressing footnote to that is one of
the founders of HEaT recently commited suicide.
Shit, sorry to hear it
So -- I applied with this HEaT logo and was accepted on
the spot. If I recall correctly the sysop broke into chat
right after I uploaded it. Aha, "broke into chat"...
Many people believe that AAA infact turned into ACiD, but
this isn't the case is it?
I believe this is covered by my former statement.
me paste from another interview...
<AAA> didn't turn into ACiD. Around the time just
before the formation of ACiD, only three members were really
putting a real effort into making the group (<AAA>)
run smoothly. Those three artists were Grimm, Shadow Demon,
and I. Communication amongst artists like you see in art
groups today was totally nonexistant. The <AAA> WHQ
at that time (Nuclear Wastelands, 408) was one of the first
boards to lock out area codes, unfortunately, by doing this,
they were locking out a majority of their AAA members.
the three of us, it was a unanimous decision that a more
efficient and respectable group could be ran without the
extra weight. As I was talking to Grimm one late-night,
we were throwing names at each other, I thought of ACiD,
ANSi Creators in Demand. Everyone that we wanted to bring
over into the new group (ACiD) was interested and the transitionwas
So, you drew ansi in AAA, why didn't you keep it up?
I continued to draw ANSI in ACiD for several years, but
began to scale back the time spent drawing in an effort
to stay on top of the million other responsibilities involved
with running ACiD. I recently drew up a couple ANSI logos;
one for bitchX IRC client and Power Rage BBS. That was about
three months ago.
What did it feel like, running a group like ACiD around
94/95? I mean, it must have felt good running the single
largest and best group within the scene?
Indeed. In my eyes 1994 was the ANSI scene's golden year,
above any other. While I'm sure ANSI as an artform will
continue for many more decades to come, 1994 was just the
best... for the big and the little fish.
Others seem to disagree.. 1997 saw the release of many "Will
ansi live?" articles..
I've been seeing those articles since the ANSI scene started.
haha, and we'll continue seeing them..
Somethings just have to repeat themselves, dont they?
Take us back to April 1996.. Tell us about the controversional
decision by Hornet to remove the /ansi dir from their archive..
April is something all together different, let's go further
back, to January 1996...
full unanimity several members of Hornet made a decision
to eventually rid of the /pub/demos/incoming/ansi directory
from their master site at Walnut Creek's ftp.cdrom.com.
weeks prior to this announcement ACiD was topping Hornet's
DemoNews download charts every single issue, which lead
alot of people to think there was no coincidence in the
timing of the decision. Many thought it to be an animus
attack on the ANSI scene as a result of the charts that
were published. No real explanation was given, just a .message
stating the directory would be going away and soon. One
of them looked like this:
/demos/incoming/ansi - ANSI Packs and Utils
250-This directory will be removed at 12:00 PST on 9-Mar-96
250-Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
to say, someone sure received alot of mail.
better understand what was really going on, discussions
took place between senior members of ACiD and Hornet council.
Legitimate concerns were being voiced on Hornet's side --
the ansi directory had become a targe of sorts for warez
and pornographic materials, it had the greatest number of
botched uploads and bogus file names such as "/incoming/ansi/ICE.RULES.YOU.SHALL.KNOW.OUR.POWER".
In other words it had become a nuisance and the easiest
solution seemed to be the death sentence.
Was ansi the only directory that had problems with uploads?
All the incoming directories were succetpable to these sorts
of issues. It just seemed that the ansi one was taking the
bulk of the abuse. However this all changed after the ACiD
Artpacks Archive came about -- we implemented illegal upload
scripts which dealt with quickly dealt with any problem
file. A true CYA measure on our part which paid off. But
I'm jumping ahead here...
retrospect, some very amusing proposals were made by both
parties between the months of January and March. One was
to limit the incoming/ansi directory to only ACiD and iCE
packs. Another was to take on an official maintainer for
the ansi directory, as there wasn't one. But something still
wasn't quite right, and none of the proposals were panning
March 9th drew closer, I had to place a few phone calls.
First I contacted Pallbearer, founder of the original Hornet
archive at ftp.eng.ufl.edu. He firmly opposed the removal
of the ansi directory because of the important role it played
in the make up of the underground art scene. But not everyone
felt the same way. Trixter, one-time appointee of Hornet
public relations for this special occassion was out of touch
with the ongoings in the ANSI scene. He tried to tell me
(of all people) that the ANSI scene was just too closely
knit with the warez scene, justification alone for the removal.
Of course everyone knows that the demoscene is equally if
not more deeply rooted in the pirate world, but times had
changed and he stayed blind.
April an in-person meeting was set. Snowman, Prisoner#1,
his girlfriend at the time, and I gathered at a quaint Italian
restaurant in downtown Concord. When she wasn't showing
off her umm... tattoos... we shared our ideas about the
scene, the current events, the state of things and where
they were headed, and all that. More progress was made in
that single day than in all of the others combined.
impression was made and a few months later /pub/artpacks
was a reality.
Artpacks Archive, the HTML front end in any case, must have
been a shining glory?
Oh definitely. Initially we borrowed alot of our ideas from
the Hornet and the C|Net VSL. Then we started to be a little
creative by adding features to the website that were familiar
to a BBS user. File tagging and batch queues were added
as well as compressed archive viewing on-line and the
ability to view files within a compressed file. Before we
knew it, the Hornet Archive began to borrow from us instead.
Yeah, there's definately some fancy coding behind the site.
Shivan Bastard definately did a lot of work?
Oh yeah. There are many many months of time and labor invested
in the scripts that help automate artpacks.acid.org.
Just recently a thread on acheron's discussion board was
talking about The Knave and Tomppa1.. Would you care to
elaborate more deeply just what happened with The kanve
being expelled from ACID?
It's quite simple really. The Knave was removed from ACiD
because he took images belonging to Braid Media Arts (www.braid.com)
and took sole credit for them. This shouldn't be confused
with the discussion thread which disputes the similarities
between The Knave's "new style" compared to Tomppa1's.
Indeed. That was a heated discussion. I only asked because
The Knave's dismissal came up in that forum.
We have a very clear policy in ACiD. If you intend to use
someone elses material in your artwork you must directly
credit the original author. Unfortunately The Knave failed
to do this and he was dismissed on the grounds
I guess he learnt his lession..
That's open for debate. :)
That's for another thread :)
Whilst on the subject of ACiD, how hard was it making the
decision to turn "hirez only".. Or did it just
happen? Because the rest of the scene would and did label
acid as turning its back on the scene so to speak.
The choice made was a concious one. At the time, the entire
ANSI scene was in a slump and we were no exception. The
time had come for ACiD to move on. I had originally planned
to hand down the legacy of ACiD ANSI to White Trash. He
would run a subsidiary group called Avenge similiar to how
Remorse is our ASCII counterpart. But things did not go
as planned and I simply didn't have the time to keep our
ANSI division going.
this dramatic change was an internal one, it made waves
which were felt throughout the entire scene. iCE got to
be number one at ANSI for the first time.
to say that we've turned our back on ANSI or the scene is
pretty pathetic. Since day one we've been taking every step
necessary to continue and preserve this scenes existence.
Take into account that ACiD is operating the largest scene
archive consisting primarily of ANSI art and you might find
those sort of remarks pretty ridiculous.
my roots and I know how I got here. I know that it wasn't
a terminal emulation or the pirate scene infamy that brought
us where we're at today. It happened only through hard work
and determination. Blood sweat and tears.
The ACiD site has been around for quite some time in its
current design.. I heard a rumour a new site is on the way?
You know what? I've also heard that an iCE site redesign
was in the works.
So, are you denying or it or what? :)
No, I'm not denying it. :)
Good, because its about time the damned thing was changed
what would you say would be the highlights for you over
the last 10 years?
Yep, just in general.. You must have some fond memories..
I sure would if I had just said no to drugs in highschool.
there are too many highlights to name them all. My brightest
ones are my firsts. First computer, first free phone call,
first group affiliation, et cetera.
of my long term goals since the inception of ACiD were finally
met this year. ACiD Productions in conjuction with Renegades
released a full scale demo called "Out of Sight, Out
of Mind" at the Spring Break '98 demo party. It was
took home first place and it looked fucking awesome on the
big screen. Their sound system was top dollar.
fond memories which are more personal include the old ACiD
voice mail box. We've had our share of them, but the last
one we had was never published anywhere but anyone who was
anyone knew the number. We would get the strangest messages,
I really wished I had recorded them. This chick used to
call and leave these full-on ballads dedicated to me or
ACiD. I would three way people in just so they could hear
the shit. These songs sounded like they had been fucking
rehearsed! They not only rhymed but had different background
music for each one. Somebody was getting a little too carried
away with the karaoke machine or something. Whenever I would
do an update to the greeting I would introduce an ACiD member
or whoever was conferenced in on my phone at the time. ReDMaN
did alot of the co-hosting of our ACiD updates.
alliance and meet-me conferences were the best. Blue Gravity,
Rendered Useless, Typhus and I would make some pretty outrageous
prank calls. Of course the best ones you just had to be
there for, but Sinned Soul has alot of them stashed awy
in MP3 format. Tell him you're looking for some Spizzo.
yeah, alot of firsts and alot of great memories with ACiD.
I could probably write a book by now. I have just one accomplishment
First sex.. heh
Speaking of the fruits of sex, how is the child?
He's doing great! His vocabulary has reached atleast twenty
different words now, and he's almost three feet tall!
He's a big man
Not to mention he's the boss of our cat.
Does the cat know this?
OH yeah. If the cat is anywhere it shouldn't be then he'll
be chasing and pointing his finger while yelling "DOWN!"
He means business!
The ACiDCon's must be a hoot? Tell us about the first one
Yeah, they're a great excuse to get people together and
have a few beers. ACiDCon 1... Sinned Soul was going to
be in town so we decided to throw an official gathering
with all the locals at our beloved Pizza & Pipes in
San Jose. Back then you could get a large pepperoni and
cheese pizza for only $5.99. And a decent selection of brews
and that's not all... To top it off they had an organ grinder!
What more could you ask for?
An organ grinder!
You grind people's organs in it?
Before electronic keyboard synthesizers there were organ
They didn't have a monkey though. No monkey with little
Do you have plans for another ACiDCon?
Yes. We plan to do something next month for ACiDCon 1999.
We were hoping to do something an outdoor BBQ party but
due to the recent "flash freezes" and record low
temperatures in the last 20 years we have decided to make
it an indoors event.
How does the group work internally?
ACiD is continuing to use the Advisor model. Each group
within ACiD is coordinated and/or advised by a specific
person. Wind Rider advises over Remorse/ACiD ASCII, Catbones
over ACiD Hirez, and so on.
Many acuse you of being the sole person responsible of putting
the packs together, therefore making them late?
That was true in the past, but not in 1998. For over a year
we've been rotating the responsibility of pack assemblage.
Everyone in ACiD hirez is encouraged to package an Acquisition
Update atleast once. It gives the artist a better understanding
of the process involved and helps to balance the load in
the group a little more. Everyone has a greater respect
now for the time that is put into putting one together.
Cool. ACiD is up to #75 now, going for the #100?
Oh of course. Maybe then I'll quit.
heh.. NEVER :) maybe I will :)
It's only about 2 and 1/2 years away.
Will there ever be another Product emag? In a previous interview
you stated that they would be released yearly?
That was a mistake. Look for Product 3 when the 100th update
is released. :)
Well, let me ask this: Do you personally think the scene
will live past 2000?
Easily. The digital artscene will continue to exist as longer
as there is a digital canvas to be painted.f
Where do you see the artscene beyond 2000?
Oh I got some good beyond 2000 predictions for you. Here
some where will be upset that "lit" isn't being
accepted as a
legitimate artform by pre-teenagers in the ANSI scene.
2. Someone will be writing about how the scene is on the
3. Someone else will complain about how much the scene sucks.
4. 95% of the people in the scene's greatest contribution
will be idling in some chat forum.
5. After six months of tenure in the scene someone will
write an article yearning for the good old days, sparking
up some 6-month old nostalgia.
maybe it doesn't take a clairvoyant to figure those out...
2000 I see more artists moving towards three dimensional
modeling of art. We will witness a more noticeable split
between the "funboy hobbyist" and the more serious
scene artist, stretching the spectrum. Who knows, some of
us might even have their own DVD-ROMs featuring all of our
own multimedia productions ever made.
Acheron is now 2 years old. Hard to believe. Do you think
the scene has benefited from its presence?
Yes. Acheron is a very important site for the scene right
now, in that it has brought back some of that "community"
that was really lost after the death of the dial up BBS.
I know most people haven't a clue how much time and devotion
you've put into it. You have my respect and take comfort
in knowing that there are some who do know what it takes
to make it all happen.
That's a wrap?
Thanks for the interview dude