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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathComputer Art
Life Spacies (Sommerer/Mignonneau), 1997

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Therefore, there are various meaningful areas where the use of computers arises for and within a work of art [9] . Whether we are dealing with a specific script that can run on any ordinary computer (and that actually requires it for the desired performance [10] ), or with a remotely connected installation which generates creatures (e.g. «Life Spacies») using distant computers over the Internet with local user input data, that are then shown in a projection room [11] , without the user being able to follow the reactions of the system—both of these situations are determined by the utilisation of computer systems and a communication structure, and would be unthinkable without these components. These technologies are necessary and constitute meaning for the work of art. If one looks at more recent published surveys on the history of art in the twentieth century, little or no information about the computer as a tool for generating art will be found. [12] At the same time, it appears that the early years are very well documented. At the beginning of the seventies, both writers and artists, in addition to their artistic and scientific works, presented their ideas on art theory and—as in the case of Herbert W. Franke,


Georg Nees or Kurd Alsleben—have all separately and repeatedly written down their ideas for practical aesthetics. [13] By looking at the formal similarities with the works of the pioneers, who themselves appealed to a cybernetically-marked aesthetics of information, it becomes clear how close computer art is to other systems of art. In the classical arts, there were several points of contact between concrete and constructive tendencies and Op Art or kinetic art. Within the framework of a general interest in the theoretical paradigm of cybernetics, there were, even in the sixties and even in the arts, intensive discussions of its core ideas. [14] By way of example, we might consider the art machine of Victor Vasarely, which produced a different work daily, or perhaps the works of Gerhard von Graevenitz, who considered the role that chance played in the fine arts. [15] This also applies to Herman de Vries, who, in his early work, dealt both theoretically and artistically with chance and the concept of information. [16] Especially in the implementation of chance elements as structure-forming working principles, there were some artists who worked using traditional materials but then

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