Saturday, September 02, 2006

0 Early Computer Art

So I'm reading about Michael Noll, a computer researcher and scientist, who did pioneering work in the area of producing art through a digital computer solely for aesthetic purposes. He was among the first to bring out computer generated imagery in the 1960's, while working at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey (now AT&T) . During that time, he also produced a number of 16mm computer animations that now are exhibited at the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences in L.A.

One of the images that was produced by him (copywrited) is an abstract work (as most of his art) called Gaussian Quadratic. It was done in the summer of 1962. The image has 100 points with 99 lines connecting them all. Horizontal co-ordinates of the dots are Gaussian and vertical co-ords increase according to a quadratic equation. I wish I knew what this equation looked like.

So, what do you think, looking at that? As the points reach the top, it is reflected to the bottom to continue its rise. This might have been devised to condense the image. But its creative and brilliant. There is a certain art in it that I see. Its an amalgam of the principles of math, science and electricity. The proportions of the image are also (according to the websites above) related slightly to the Ma Jolie (Woman with a Zither or Guitar) by Pablo Picasso. Also, according to the Chapter 4 in the book New Media in Late 20th Century Art (Rush, Michael,1999),

"he [Noll] began producing abstract, computer-generated images, such as Gaussian Quadratic (1965), which he found suggestive of Picasso's Cubism."
Here are some good links to the timeline of computer graphics evolution and a list of early computer artists and some of their works, including Noll.


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