Pioneering digital artist dies at 95 - ARTnews.com

Pioneering digital artist dies at 95 – ARTnews.com | Pro Club Bd

Herbert W. Franke, a pioneering digital artist, scientist, and author of nonfiction and science fiction, died last week at the age of 95.

In the course of his life, Franke has witnessed enormous technological changes and reflected and captured them in his art. His practice evolved with technology.

In the 1970s, he used the technology available to him at the Siemens research laboratory in Germany to create early computer animation using interactive 3D systems. Decades later, he began using blockchain technology to create NFTs on his laptop.

For Franke, art was a way to see the beauty of math, and math was a way to make art. He had a variety of interests that he would pursue throughout his life, even as he made his living as a freelancer.

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Franke has left a rich and important legacy in the field of digital art, particularly in the field of generative art. Franke found generative art so attractive and promising because it made the beauty of mathematics visible. His early series Dance of the Electrons (1959/62) was created using an analogue computer and a cathode ray oscillograph, which converted electronic signals into images and produced ghostly greyscale graphics.

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Herbert W. Franke, DRACULA1970-71.

Art-meets-science.info

Franke later used drawing machines and computer plotters to draw simple algorithms, which he programmed. Then, in 1970, he used a newly developed Siemens computer, the 4004, to create the DRAKULA series (1970–71), which used the mathematical theory of kite curves to generate variations on a fractal pattern.

Franke was born in Vienna in 1927. His father, an electrical engineer, encouraged Franke’s interest in science, especially chemistry, and helped him discover his love of art after giving him his first camera at the age of nine. After fighting in World War II, Franke took some time to photograph Austrian caves and went on week-long expeditions. He remained fascinated with caves for the rest of his life.

In 1950 he received his doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna. During his studies, he continued to develop diverse interests and projects and began writing science fiction. It was also during this period that he developed an interest in making art using new technologies, after he and his friend Franz Raimann built an analog computer in 1956, which he used to create his first artwork.

Franke liked to publish books about the intersection of art and science Art and Construction – Mathematics and Physics (circa 1950s) and Computer graphics, computer art (1971). As a lecturer at the University of Munich, he taught a class called “Cybernetic Aesthetics,” which Franke described in an interview with the as a “rational theory of art in which the myth of the artist had no place.” Brooklyn Rail.

In 1979 he co-founded Ars Electronica, an interdisciplinary research institute for new media arts that hosts an annual tech and arts festival. He remained a committed artist and speaker to the last moments of his life. He only presented his works of art last June Mondrian (1979), a program developed by Franke for Texas Instruments that creates colored box and line compositions that reflect Piet Mondrian’s abstract paintings, at Art Basel.

Museums have begun to canonize Franke’s work. In 2017, the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, acquired Franke’s archive, which contains sketches, correspondence, and a variety of other documents reflecting his passions as a science fiction writer, computer artist, and dedicated caver. Earlier this year, Franke’s work was the subject of a retrospective at the Francisco Carolinum in Linz, Austria.

His wife Susanne informed his numerous admirers of his death in a Twitter post on July 16th. The comments section became a place to commemorate his incredible influence.

“His work and ideas will live on through us all and serve as a gift for future generations,” wrote generative artist Dmitri Cherniak. “A true innovator in every sense of the word.”

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