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Title: Georg Nees & Harold Cohen. Re-tracing origins
Authors: Nake, Frieder
Keywords: algorithmic art
digital media
pioneers of computer art
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: When in 1964 Georg Nees observed the drawing machine Zuse Graphomat Z64 slowly drawing one line after the other to build his first generative computer graphics work, he exclaimed: "Here I see something happen for the first time that will never disappear again!" When Harold Cohen in 1971 started into his second career as a painter, developing AARON, the greatest Expert System ever, he occasionally told visitors, tongue-in-cheek: "I will be the first artist of whom new works will be shown after his death." Like a few others, both men abused the computer to do what it was not constructed for: Instead of letting it compute, they forced it to draw and paint. This transcending act marks the beginning of the algorithmic revolution and of digital media. The name is a misnomer. For the algorithmic principle is decisive for what began happening, whereas the digital principle is almost only accidental. Processes determine the revolution that transforms the computing machine into the medium of media, thus changing much of our daily lives – the processes of computing and not the data of storing. The presentation will show by an eye-witness and contributor how computability and later interactivity plus connectivity creep into all forms of art to transform the world topsy-turvy into virtuality, artificiality, digitality as new modes of reality. But reality, despite of its accelerating race of innovation remains true to itself and humans still defy artificial intelligence because they are to die.
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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