HOME

DEUTSCH

Pioneer Work: Frieder Nake

This page is dedicated to the computer art pioneer Frieder Nake.


In the 1960s Frieder Nake (*1938) studied mathematics in Stuttgart, Germany, and became part of the experimental circle around Max Bense, who had formed the theoretical fundament for early computer art with his information aesthetics. Frieder Nake held his first exhibition together with Georg Nees in November 1965 at the Wendelin Niedlich Gallery, Stuttgart.

»Pioneer Work: Frieder Nake« presents the four computer graphics of »The Precise Pleasures«, a folder edition printed in 2005 and published under the German title »Die präzisen Vergnügen«. The motifs are based on early computer graphics Frieder Nake created in 1965 and 1969. In each sheet four screenshots have been added to the main motif. These screenshots were taken from projections of interactive installations, which were generated by transferring Nakes graphics into interactively changeable virtual depictions.

 Pioneer Work #1      Rectangular Hatchings / Interrelations

In this sheet Frieder Nake´s computer graphic »Rectangular Hatchings« from 1965 corresponds with the screenshot taken from the installation »Interrelations«. Nake developed this interactive installation based on »Rectangular Hatchings« in cooperation with Lutz Dickmann und Hendrik Poppe.


rectangular hatchings / interrelations 0
from the »The Precise Pleasures« portfolio:
Frieder Nake:
Rectangular Hatchings / Interrelations
by Frieder Nake with Lutz Dickmann and Hendrik Poppe
digital print after plotter drawing and screenshot, 2005

Idea by Frieder Nake, program in cooperation with Lutz Dickmann and Hendrik Poppe
Generated: Rectangular Hatchings, 1965 / Interrelations, 2004



nach oben


 Pioneer Work #2      Family of Lines / Expansion

»Family of Lines« by Frieder Nake, 1965, meets »Expansion« by Frieder Nake with Philipp Kehl.


family of lines / expansion 0
from the »The Precise Pleasures« portfolio:
Frieder Nake: Family of Lines / Expansion
by Frieder Nake with Philipp Kehl
digital print after plotter drawing and screenshot, 2005

Idea by Frieder Nake, program in cooperation mit Philipp Kehl
Generated: Family of Lines, 1965 / Expansion, 2004

nach oben


 Pioneer Work #3      Hommage à Paul Klee / Tension

»Hommage à Paul Klee« is probably Nake´s most prominent work. Inspired by Paul Klee´s painting »High Roads and Byroads« (Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, see Wikipedia), Nake wrote an image program with COMPART ER56 for the mainframe Standard Elektrik Lorenz ER56. The drawings were made by the ZUSE-Graphomat Z64. More on »Hommage à Paul Klee« on the V&A website and in the compart database.
A variation of »Hommage à Paul Klee« is next:


hommage à paul klee (variation) 0
Frieder Nake:
Hommage à Paul Klee (Variation)
plotter drawing: ZUSE Graphomat Z 64, 1966
black ink on white paper, 28 x 20 cm
edition: 100
numbered and signed on reverse side
generated: 1965/1966

hommage à paul klee / tension 0
»Hommage à Paul Klee« Frieder Nake, 1965 and it´s interactive depiction »Tension« by Frieder Nake with Susanne Grabowski and Matthias Krauß.

from the »The Precise Pleasures« portfolio:
Frieder Nake: Hommage à Paul Klee / Tension
by Frieder Nake with Susanne Grabowski and Matthias Krauß
Digital print after plotter drawing and screenshot, 2005

Idea by Frieder Nake, program in cooperation with Susanne Grabowski and Matthias Krauß
Generated: Hommage à Paul Klee, 1965 / Tension, 2004



nach oben


 Pioneer Work #4      Chaos Gestalt Structure / Incompletion

Frieder Nake´s »Chaos Gestalt Structure« of 1969 meets »Incompletion« by Frieder Nake with Christoph Brachmann and Romana Walter.


chaos gestalt structure / incompletion 0
from the »The Precise Pleasures« portfolio:
Frieder Nake:
Chaos Gestalt Structure / Incompletion
by Frieder Nake with Christoph Brachmann and Romana Walter
digital print after plotter drawing and screenshot, 2005

Idea by Frieder Nake, program in cooperation with Christoph Brachmann and Romana Walter
Generated: Chaos Gestalt Structure, 1969 / Incompletion, 2004



nach oben


 Pioneer Work #5      25/2/65 Nr.14 (Rectangular Random Polygon)

The machine drawing »25/2/65 Nr.14« was made on 25th of February 1965 as motif No. 14 in a series of motifs. The Zuse-Graphomat 64 drew an edition of 130 original plots.


Rectangular Random Polygon 0
Frieder Nake:
25/2/65 Nr. 14 (Rectangular Random Polygon)
machine drawing, 31 x 22,5 cm
Edition: 130

generated: 1965
main frame: ER56 - Standard Elektrik Lorenz
drawing machine: Zuse-Graphomat 64



nach oben


 Pioneer Work #6      Walk-Through-Raster

There are several variations of the motif »Walk-Through-Raster« taken from Nake´s software programed in 1966 (see: Dreher). The program and the drawings are some of Nake´s earliest works.


Walk-Through-Raster 0
Frieder Nake:
Walk-Through-Raster (Serie 7.3)
plotter drawing, 1968
ink on paper, 49,9 x 49,9 cm (paper), motif about 26 x 26 cm
edition: 100
numbered, signed
program: 1966

references:
Kunsthalle Bremen: Ex Machina,
image p. 427 no. 271


Frieder Nake 0
Frieder Nake: Walk-Through Raster -
from the portfolio »Art ex machina«
silk screen print, 1972

motif generated on IBM 360/65, with Fortran IV



nach oben


 The Precise Pleasures

The title of the series »The Precise Pleasures «, in German »Die präzisen Vergnügen«, is a term coined by Max Bense. The precise pleasures are a synonym for the mathematician´s, philosopher´s or computer artist´s joy of exactly describing or defining an art work by an algorithm. This Bense-quote is also the title of his book released in 1964 with texts of »artificial poetry« which unite sensuality and artificiality.


Max Bense: Präzise Vergnügen 0
»Die präzisen Vergnügen«, published 1964 by Limes Nova.

nach oben


 Computers and Automation

In 1966 Frieder Nake won the first prize of the computer art contest held by »computers and automation«, a journal published in the U.S. His winning graphic was printed on the cover of the magazine. Three more contributions by Nake can be seen in this issue, among them »Hommage à Paul Klee« and a variation of »Rectangular Hatchings«.


computers and automation 0
»computers and automation« August 1966
Editor: Edmund C. Berkeley
the image shows an edition
for the Russian market
(not sure if this was authorized ...)

Pdf-Versions of »computers and automation« can be found in the bitsavers´ archive.


nach oben


 Artist´s Profile

Frieder Nake
Born in Stuttgart, Germany, 1938, studied mathematics in Stuttgart. First experimental works with a main frame in 1963, influenced by Max Bense. 1967 Ph.D. doctoral thesis on stochastic equation systems. Nake is a pioneer of computer art, his works were displayed in many exhibitions, e.g. at the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition in London, 1968. Since 2005 Frieder Nake is a professor at the »Digital Media« section of the art college (Hochschule für Künste) in Bremen, Germany. Lives in Bremen.

Listen to Frieder Nake at the Eyeo Festival: Frieder Nake

YouTube-Links: An interview with Frieder Nake and other pioneers and one of his lectures.


Many of Nake´s »pioneer works« have been on display in major computer art exhibitions, e.g. in:
»Cybernetic Serendipity« London, 1968.
»Venice Biennale«, Venice, Italy, 1970
»Ex Machina – Frühe Computergrafik bis 1979« Kunsthalle Bremen, 2007
»bit international« ZKM Karlsruhe, 2008-2009
»Die präzisen Vergnügen« Kunsthalle Bremen, 2004-2005 and ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany, 2005

and e.g. publicized in:
Ästhetik als Informationsverarbeitung. Frieder Nake (1974)
Computer-Grafik Galerie. Herbert W. Franke (1984)
Ex Machina – Frühe Computergrafik bis 1979. Hrsg. Wulf Herzogenrath und Barbara Nierhoff-Wielk (2007)
A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine and the Computer´s Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International. Hrsg. Margit Rosen (2011)
Computergraphik - Computerkunst. Herbert W. Franke (1985)
see also Links & Books

nach oben
Copyright Heike Werner
about / contact