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Machine Art

The 1972 portfolio »ART EX MACHINA« presents six protagonists of early computer art in one fine art edition.
Gilles Gheerbrant published this box set including six computer art serigraphs - which is a core collection of algorithmic art in itself.


 Art Ex Machina

The »Machine Art« of the 1960s and 70s was both provocative and fascinating: Expecting computers soon to become creators of art work and replace human artists - the creative supremacy of humans - was a disturbing thought for many in the art world. Not so for the Canadian gallerist and editor Gilles Gheerbrant.
With his edition »Art Ex Machina« Gheerbrant demonstrated not only the fascination of the new »Machine Art« - by publishing hand printed and signed serigraphs he introduced computer art to the official art market. (This, the new economical aspect of computer art, made art pioneer Frieder Nake demand »... the art market should be destroyed as soon as possible.«.)

The title of the portfolio »Art Ex Machina« hints, just like »Deus ex machina« to the unexpected, the coincidental and surprising effects a machine can generate. Experimenting with coincidence and serendipity (e.g. with random number generators) is an often used »art generator« in algorithmic art.
The portfolio published by Gilles Gheerbrant Editeur, Montréal, in an edition of 200 copies contains six hand printed serigraphs (printed by Pierre Foisy) plus a printed text sheet by every artist and a text by Abraham Moles.

The six contributing artists are: computer art pioneer Hiroshi Kawano of Japan; from the U.S. Kenneth C. (Ken) Knowlton; from Spain Manuel Barbadillo and Germany´s digital art pioneers Frieder Nake, Georg Nees and - based in Paris and New York - Manfred Mohr.

See some of the prints here:



 Hiroshi Kawano




Hiroshi Kawano 0
Hiroshi Kawano: untitled (Red Tree)
from the portfolio »Art Ex Machina«

generated on IBM 360/75, with Fortran IV




nach oben


 Ken Knowlton




Ken Knowlton 0
Ken Knowlton: untitled
from the portfolio »Art Ex Machina«

not for sale

generated on IBM 7094, with EXPLORE




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 Manfred Mohr




Manfred Mohr 0
Manfred Mohr: untitled
from the portfolio »Art Ex Machina«

not for sale






nach oben


Copyright Heike Werner
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