Frieder Nake

Frieder Nake belongs to the found­ing fath­ers of (digit­al) com­puter art. He pro­duced his first works in 1963. He first exhib­ited his draw­ings at Galer­ie Wendelin Nied­lich in Stut­tgart in Novem­ber 1965. His early work was influ­enced by Max Bense’s Inform­a­tion Aes­thet­ics. Until 1969, he went through a suc­ces­sion of increas­ingly com­plex pro­grams, from machine lan­guage to PL/I. His main work phases are iden­ti­fied by the col­lec­tion of pro­grams, com­pArt ER56 (1963–65), Walk-through-ras­ter (1966), Mat­rix mul­ti­plic­a­tion (1967/68), Gen­er­at­ive aes­thet­ics I (1968/69). He declared not to con­tin­ue pro­du­cing com­puter art in 1971 when he pub­lished the note, There should be no com­puter art in page, the Bul­let­in of the Com­puter Arts Soci­ety. His reas­ons were mainly of polit­ic­al ori­gin: He did not see how he could act­ively con­trib­ute to com­puter art and, at the same time, be a polit­ic­al act­iv­ist against cap­it­al­ism. He resumed pub­lish­ing on com­puter art in the mid 1980s with the break-down of the rad­ic­al left. With the start in 1999 of pro­ject »com­pArt: a space for com­puter art«, Nake returned to his roots as a the­or­eti­cian, writer, cre­at­or, and teach­er in the domain of digit­al art and way bey­ond. He is head of »com­pArt: Cen­ter of Excel­lence Digit­al Art«.

Frieder Nake has been a full pro­fess­or of com­puter sci­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Bre­men, Ger­many, since 1972. Since 2005, he has also been teach­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of the Arts, Bre­men. His teach­ing and research activ­it­ies are in com­puter graph­ics, digit­al media, com­puter art, design of inter­act­ive sys­tems, com­pu­ta­tion­al semi­ot­ics, and gen­er­al the­ory of com­put­ing. Nake was rep­res­en­ted at all import­ant inter­na­tion­al exhib­i­tions on com­puter art. He has pub­lished in all the areas men­tioned above, with a pref­er­ence for com­puter gen­er­ated images.

The draw­ings were not very excit­ing. But the »prin­ciple« was!“ (Nake 2004/2005).

Source work: Photo by Frieder Nake 2005
Source work: Photo by Frieder Nake 2005

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