Herbert W. Franke Pioneer in Digital Art Has Died at 95

Herbert W. Franke pioneiro na Arte Digital faleceu aos 95 anos

Herbert W. Franke, digital art pioneer, scientist and writer, passed away last week at the age of 95.During the course of his life, Franke witnessed enormous changes in technology and used his art to reflect and record those changes.In the 1970s, he used technology available at Siemens' research laboratory in Germany to make the first computer animations using interactive 3D systems. Decades later, it started using blockchain technology to makeNFTs.

Throughout his life he had a wide variety of interests, and his practice has always evolved with technology.He left a rich and important legacy in the field of digital art, especially when it comes to generative art.ForHerbert W. Franke, art was a way of seeing the beauty of mathematics, and mathematics was a way of making art.His first series “Dance of the Electrons” (1959/62), was created with an analog computer and a cathode ray oscillograph that converted electronic signals into images, producing ghostly grayscale graphics. In 1970, he used a newly developed Siemens computer, the 4004, to create the “DRAKULA” series (1970-71), which used the mathematical theory of dragon curves to create variations in a fractal pattern. Herbert W. Frankewas born in 1927 in Vienna. His interest in science, particularly chemistry, was encouraged by his father, who was also an electrical engineer. His love for art began at the age of nine, after receiving his first camera. After World War II,Herbert W. Franketook some time to photograph Austrian caves, remaining fascinated with caves for the rest of his life.

In 1950, he obtained a doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna. As a student, he developed a wide range of interests and projects and began writing science fiction. It was also at this time that he developed his interest in creating art with emerging technologies. In 1956, with his friend Franz Raimann, he built an analog computer, which he used to create his first work of art.Franke has published books on the intersection of art and science asArt and Construction - Mathematics and Physics(ca. 1950) andComputer graphics, computer art(1971). As a professor at the University of Munich, he taught a class called “Cybernetic Aesthetics”, which he described as a “rational theory of art, in which there was no place for the myth of the artist” in an interview.toBrooklyn Rail.

In 1979, he co-founded Ars Electronica, an interdisciplinary research institute for art created through technology, which hosts an annual technology and arts festival. Also this year, he presented his workMONDRIAN(1979), a program he developed for Texas Instruments that creates box compositions and colored lines that reflect Piet Mondrian's abstract paintings at Art Basel. 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 that reflect his passions as a science fiction writer, computer artist, and dedicated speleologist. Earlier this year, Franke's work was the subject of a retrospective at the Francisco Carolinum in Linz, Austria.


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