The Computer from Hell – Frieder Nake

On Algorithmics & Aesthetics regarding the begnning of computer art
Conférence de Frieder Nake / Mars 2013 / Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux
Une intitiative de la Free Art Bureau dans le cadre des rencontres mensuelles Processing Bordeaux.
En couverture © Manfred Mohr, P-300/B, 1980

« Pionnier de l’art génératif des années 60, Frieder Nake présentera l’histoire riche mais peu connue de l’arrivée de l’ordinateur dans la pratique artistique. Une histoire qui marque sans conteste un tournant dans nos futurs vies numériques. Aujourd’hui cette histoire se montre d’autant plus pertinente que les nouveaux médias et le champ numérique occupent un terrain de plus en plus vaste […] Frieder Nake a étudié les mathématiques et crée ses premiers œuvres d’art algorithmique en 1963. Après avoir terminé sa thèse post-diplôme en théorie de probabilité, il enseigne au Department of Computer Science à l’Université de Toronto et à British Columbia, Vancouver au Canada.

Membre actif du collectif The Algorists et participant au mouvement [New] Tendencies à Zagreb, en Croatie au début des années soixante, son travail artistique a été exposé partout en Europe et ailleurs. Aujourd’hui, il habite et travaille en Allemagne où il partage son temps précieux entre l’enseignement à Hochschule Für Künste Bremen et la documentation d’un archive grandissant en ligne (compArt) qui est dédié à l’art informatique. » (cit. freeartbureau.org)


Georg Nees | Generative computer grafik, 1965

 

PART 1 | THE COMPUTER FROM HELL

« Frieder Nake studied mathematics and created his first computer graphics in 1963. Considered as one of the founding fathers of ‘computer art’, his early works were groundbreaking and his role undeniably important. However, little efforts have been made to document his perspective on a crucial part in art, design and computer history.

We had the immense pleasure of inviting Frieder Nake to give a lecture at the Contemporary Art Museum in Bordeaux last week. This was his first lecture ever in France, fifty years on. It seems only correct to give it rightful and full attention hoping that it will spark further interest from the communities at large. This rare lecture was recorded and we are pleased to share Frieder’s energetic and insightful thinking. Due to the rather long length of the lecture (followed by further discussion), we have decided to split the lecture in to five distinctive chapters.

In this first part, Frieder Nake introduces his beginnings in ‘computer art’ as a student at the Hochschule in Stuttgart explaining how, in a fleeting decisive moment, he was given the opportunity to create his first artwork. He goes on to tell a wonderful story of the exhibition, Generative Computer-Grafik, which took place at Max Bense’s gallery, 5th February 1965 presenting work by Georg Nees. Bense knew many fine artists and had invited them to the opening. What was to unfold marked the beginnings of a bone of contention between the scientific and artistic communities, one that still barks on today in some conservative corners. »


 

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