Like Icontext and Graphic Jam before it, ASCII Jam turns to anonymous visitors for creative inspiration. A peculiar division of creativity occurs when artists write software for 'visiting artists' to use. The software mediated imagery that results from this revision of the roles of artist and spectator expresses the character of both the tool-maker and the tool-user. The results are bound to vary depending on whether people respond more verbally or visually, more competitively or cooperatively. Because ASCII Jam is as much a telecommunication tool as a visual artwork, the experiences it offers may resemble conversation.

ASCII Jam weaves together a variety of threads involving language, interaction, expressive freedom, and the role of the artist. Celebrate this new virtual machine or try to subvert its limitations. Think of it as a tool, an experience, or a jam session. If you don't like it, rewrite it -- the source code is in the public domain. How is art changing in response to the historically unprecedented global reach of the artist's immaterial studio? I look forward to seeing what develops.

— Andy Deck, June 2004