Frieder Nake

Frieder Nake is one of the pioneers of computer art, known for his algorithmic and generative works. In 1963 he began his first artistic experiments with the Graphomat Z64, the legendary drawing machine of Konrad Zuse, at the Technical University of Stuttgart. He and fellow pioneers A. Michael Noll and Georg Nees all had their first exhibitions in 1965. He participated in the famous exhibition "Cybernetic Serendipity" in 1968 in London.

In 1971, he wrote the famous article "There Should Be No Computer Art." In 1974, he published "Aesthetics as Information Processing" one of the first "Computer Art'' books about generative aesthetics, algorithms and data structures.

Nake studied mathematics at the University of Stuttgart, Ph.D. in probability theory in 1967. 1968-69 he was the visiting researcher in computer art at the University of Toronto. Since 1972, he has been a professor at the University of Bremen. His teaching and research is in computer graphics, human-computer interaction, hypertext, digital media, semiotics, aesthetics, and computer art, but also in the political and economical critique of computer science. He has been visiting researcher or professor in Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, China, and the USA.

In November, 2004, he had a retrospective exhibition at Kunsthalle Bremen and ZKM Karlruhe, with the early graphic works and new interactive installations. In 2010, the exhibition No Message Whatsoever, at the DAM Gallery, Berlin, included his works created between 1964 and 2010.

Keynote: Would you do it?

Life at times seems to be a sequence of anecdotes, little innocent stories that happen to us and only later we realize the potential and meaning and danger and sorrow hidden in such stories. This presentation will, therefore, be in the form of some anecdotes that may, or may not, make sense to those who listen. The stories will be about the early days of some phenomena that then came to be called computer art. The term algorithmic art is a better choice, and I will explain why. One or two examples will demonstrate how algorithmic art requires algorithmic thinking. We will see how computer graphics is the origin of digital media, and how all this is part of the algorithmic revolution, a revolution that almost nobody really noticed but that is of utmost relevance.