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Loeffler, Carl; Truck, Fred
«Art Com Electronic Network (ACEN)»
In early 1986, Art Com Electronic Network (ACEN) went officially into business. Primarily devoted to contemporary art, this project offers different types of operations: the electronic publication of Art Com and other newspapers, an electronic bulletin board and mail system, as well as an «electronic exhibition space,» not to mention an art gallery. Presently being developed is an electronic (virtual) shopping area with art-related «shops». Here online buyers can find information on art books, video cassettes, computer software, and other goods connected to art, and directly purchase them online. The operating system boasting menus and programs is conceived and implemented by the Art Com Group, under the direction of Carl Loeffler in San Francisco.[...] ACEN can be opened internationally using a PC with a modem, or with a telecommunication program. ACEN uses an ASCII protocol for data transfers. Users signing in at ACEN online are immediately welcomed by a start menu that allows them to choose freely among various options and surf throughout the network. The ACEN operating system is user friendly. All commands run on-screen in full view, and hardly any menu is larger than a page. Normally, users can navigate through the network using single-character commandos.
(Source: Carl Loeffler, «Telecomputing und die digitale Kultur», in: Kunstforum International, Band 103, «Im Netz der Systeme», Sept./Okt.1989, pp. 128–133.)