Frieder Nake

Basic Info

Name: Frieder Nake
Country of Origin: DE


Frieder Nake belongs to the founding fathers of (digital) computer art. He produced his first works in 1963. He first exhibited his drawings at Galerie Wendelin Niedlichin Stuttgart in November 1965. His early work was influenced by Max Bense’s Information Aesthetics. Until 1969, he went through a succession of increasingly complex programs, from machine language to PL/I. His main work phases are identified by the collection of programs, compArt ER56 (1963-65), Walk-through-raster (1966), Matrix multiplication (1967/68), Generative aesthetics I (1968/69). He declared not to continue producing computer art in 1971 when he published the note, There should be no computer art in page, the Bulletin of the Computer Arts Society. His reasons were mainly of political origin: He did not see how he could actively contribute to computer art and, at the same time, be a political activist against capitalism. He resumed publishing on computer art in the mid 1980s with the break-down of the radical left. With the start in 1999 of project »compArt: a space for computer art«, Nake returned to his roots as a theoretician, writer, creator, and teacher in the domain of digital art and way beyond. He is head of »compArt: Center of Excellence Digital Art«.

Frieder Nake has been a full professor of computer science at the University of Bremen, Germany, since 1972. Since 2005, he has also been teaching at the University of the Arts, Bremen. His teaching and research activities are in computer graphics, digital media, computer art, design of interactive systems, computational semiotics, and general theory of computing. Nake was represented at all important international exhibitions on computer art. He has published in all the areas mentioned above, with a preference for computer generated images.

“The drawings were not very exciting. But the »principle« was!“ (Nake 2004/2005).

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