The History of Digital Art for Crypto Explorers

50s: How it All Started

The Origin of Computer Art

The very beginning of computer art can be traced back to the 1950s. During that period artists were exploring mechanical devices and analogue computers, creating works that paved the way for the development of what the early digital pioneers of the 1960s would generate. While not a comprehensive list, this post aims to shed light on two main figures active during the 1950s.


BEN F. LAPOSKY

Ben F. Laposky (1914–2000) was an American artist, mathematician, and draftsman. He is regarded as a precursor of the work carried out by the early digital pioneers who made an impact in the 1960s. In his practice during the early 1950s Laposky used analogue electronic equipment, specifically an oscilloscope as a tool able to modulate electronic waves, which he subsequently photographed in different combinations. He named his images “Oscillons”.

Ben F. Laposky, Oscillons 21,1953,Source: marklyken.com © Ben F Laposky, Sanford Museum [1]
Ben F. Laposky, Oscillons 21,1953,Source: marklyken.com © Ben F Laposky, Sanford Museum [1]
Ben F. Laposky, Oscillons 45, 1953, Source: marklyken.com © Ben F Laposky, Sanford Museum [2]
Ben F. Laposky, Oscillons 45, 1953, Source: marklyken.com © Ben F Laposky, Sanford Museum [2]
Ben F. Laposky, Oscillons 27, 1953, Source: marklyken.com © Ben F Laposky, Sanford Museum [3]
Ben F. Laposky, Oscillons 27, 1953, Source: marklyken.com © Ben F Laposky, Sanford Museum [3]

HERBERT W. FRANKE

Herbert W. Franke (b. 1927) is an Austrian physicist, scientist, writer, curator and one of the early pioneers of computer art. During the 1950s he experimented with oscilloscopes and cameras to create patterns of sets of lines. He brought significant contributions to the development of computer art, both artistically and academically.

Herbert W. Franke, Light shapes, 1953, Source: Artsy, Photo Edition Berlin [4]
Herbert W. Franke, Light shapes, 1953, Source: Artsy, Photo Edition Berlin [4]
Herbert W. Franke, Light shapes, 1953, Source: Artsy, Photo Edition Berlin [5]
Herbert W. Franke, Light shapes, 1953, Source: Artsy, Photo Edition Berlin [5]
Herbert W. Franke, Light shapes,1953, Source: Artsy, Photo Edition Berlin [6]
Herbert W. Franke, Light shapes,1953, Source: Artsy, Photo Edition Berlin [6]

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

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Continue learning about the History of Digital Art for Crypto Explorers read next post about 1960s and 1970s

*This article is for non-profit educational purposes. We do not represent or work with any of the featured artists. The copyright of all images belong to their authors. We aim to contribute to the research in the field of digital art and hope our readers will find this article beneficial to their learning.

07 May 20
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