Computer art

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'Computer art' is the generation of aesthetic objects with the aid of software on a digital computer. Its history started in 1965. Three exhibitions took place that year, which are acknowledged as first public presentations of digital art: Georg Nees at the Studiengalerie of the University of Stuttgart (5-19 February 1965); A. Michael Noll and Bela Julesz at Howard Wise Gallery, New York (6-24 April 1965); Frieder Nake and Georg Nees at Galerie Wendelin Niedlich, Stuttgart (5-26 November 1965)... The picture changes slightly, when we closely look at the time when these researcher-artists started their experiments in algorithmic art: Noll in 1962, Nake in 1963, Nees in 1964. All these dates refer to "digital" art and computers. Ben F. Laposky had started to work with analogue equipment in 1952. Herbert W. Franke followed in Austria in 1959, and Kurd Alsleben in Hamburg around 1960."
Frieder Nake

Artists, Events[edit]


Group exhibition catalogues[edit]

  • Arte programmata: arte cinetica, opere moltiplicate, opera aperta [Programmed Art: Kinetic Art, Multiplied Works, Open Works], Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, 1962, 32 pp. Text by Umberto Eco. Works by Bruno Munari, Enzo Mari, Gruppo T, Gruppo N, Getulio Alviani, GRAV, et al. Organised by Bruno Munari and Giorgio Soavi; sponsored by Olivetti. Exh. held in Milan, May 1962; Piazza S. Marco, Venice, Jul-Aug 1962; Genova, 1962; Piazza Barberini, Rome, Oct 1962; Galleria La Cavana, Trieste, 1962; Tokyo, 1962; Goppinger Galerie, Düsseldorf, 1963; Royal College of Art, London, Jul 1964; Loeb Student Center, New York, 1964; and circulated across other venues in the US by the Smithsonian Institution. Video documentation (10 min). [1] (Italian),(French),(English)
  • Herstellung von zeichnerischen Darstellungen, Tonfolgen und Texten mit elektronischen Rechenanlagen. Programm-Information PI-21, Darmstadt: Deutsches Rechenzentrum Darmstadt, 1966. (German)
  • Computer Graphics, ed. Jiří Valoch, Brno: Dům umění města Brna, 1968, 16 pp. (Czech)
  • Cybernetic Serendipidity. The Computer and the Arts: a Studio International Special Issue, ed. Jasia Reichardt, London: Studio International, Jul 1968; 2nd ed., rev., Sep 1968, 103 pp; repr., New York: Praeger, 1969, 101 pp; repr., London: Studio International Foundation, 2018, 101 pp. Exh. catalogue. Features a cover designed by Franciszka Themerson; an introduction by Jasia Reichardt; an overview of cybernetics and its founder, Norbert Wiener; separate sections dedicated to the connections between the computer and music, dance, poetry, painting, film, architecture, and graphics; a glossary; and a bibliography.
  • Impulse Computerkunst: Graphik, Plastik, Musik, Film, ed. Herbert W. Franke, Munich: Kunstverein München, 1970, 62 pp. Exh. held at Karl-Ernst-Osthaus Museum, Hagen, Feb 1970; Kunstverein München, Munich, 8 May-7 Jun 1970; Kunsthaus Hamburg, 12 Jun-12 Jul 1970; afterwards at Goethe-Institut internationally (Brussels, Oslo, Madrid, Zürich, Rome, Amsterdam, Lisbon, and elsewhere), 1971-1972. (German)
  • Arte y cibernética, ed. Jorge Glusberg, Montevideo: Comision Nacional de Artes Plastica, Jun 1970, [19] pp. Exh. held at Galería Bonino, Buenos Aires, Aug-Sep 1969. [3] (Spanish)
  • Tendencije 4 / Tendencies 4: Zagreb, 1968-1969, eds. Boris Kelemen and Radoslav Putar, Zagreb: Galerija suvremene umjetnosti, 1970, [146] pp. Texts and statements by Radoslav Putar, Almir Mavignier, Matko Meštrović, Enzo Mari, Alessandro Carlini, Bernhard Schneider, Alberto Biasi, Gianni Colombo, Milan Dobeš, Herbert W. Franke, Karl Gerstner, Rolf Glasmeier, Rolf Gravenhorst, Hein Gravenhorst, Dieter Hacker, John Gabriel Harries, Gottfried Jäger, Richard Kriesche, Max H. Mahlmann, Marcello Morandini, Zoran Radović, Bernhard Sandfort, Paolo Scheggi, Klaus Staudt, Josef Hermann Stiegler, Jorrit Tornquist, Gabriele de Vecchi, Herman de Vries. (Serbo-Croatian)/(French),(German),(Italian),(English)
  • Computer Art, ed. Laxmi P. Sihare, New Delhi: National Gallery of Modern Art, 1972, 57 pp.
  • Bilder 43: "Computer-Bilder", Vienna: Fotogalerie Wien, Nov 1988, [12] pp. Works by Graf & Zyx (A), Ingoneu (A), Margot Pilz (A), Helmut Rainer (A), Leo Schatzl (A). [5] (German)
  • Počítačové umění v ČSSR a ve světě. 3. celostátní výstava s mezinárodní účastí, ed. Lucie Holá, Prague: Dům techniky, 1989, 27 pp. Exh. held 11-16 Apr 1989. Exhibition. [6] [7] [8] (Czech)
  • Počítačová grafika vo výtvarnom umení, ed. Zuzana Bartková and Martin Šperka, Banská Bystrica: Štátna galéria, 1992, [32] pp. (Slovak)
  • Computational Arts in Canada 1967-1974, ed. Adam Lauder, London, ON: McIntosh Gallery, 2020, 84 pp. TOC, [12]



  • Arie Altena, Lucas van der Velden (eds.), The Anthology of Computer Art. Sonic Acts XI, Amsterdam: Sonic Acts, 2006, 94 pp. [15] [16]
  • Paul Brown, Charlie Gere, Nicholas Lambert, Catherine Mason (eds.), White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980, MIT Press (Leonardo), 2008, 464 pp. Publisher.
  • Edward A. Shanken, Art and Electronic Media, London: Phaidon, 2009. Survey essay. [18]
  • Honor Beddard, Douglas Dodds, V&A Pattern: Digital Pioneers, London: V&A Publishing, 2009, 78 pp. Catalogue. [19]

repr. as The Machine as Art / The Machine as Artist, eds. Frederic Fol Leymarie, Juliette Bessette and G.W. Smith, Basel: MDPI, 2020, 302 pp.

  • Patrick Frank, Sharing Code: Art1, Frederick Hammersley, and the Dawn of Computer Art, forew. Joseph Traugott, Museum of New Mexico Press, 2020, 160 pp. Publisher.

Recent exhibitions[edit]

See also[edit]