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Art In/Art Out computer art exhibit

Art In/Art Out computer art exhibit

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, Feb 1 - Mar 16, 1980

Original exhibition description from 1980:
Computer Aided Graphics is an exhibit featuring the medium of computer graphics. It is the youngest medium to challenge traditional media since photography. Dr. Herbert W. Franke, author of one of the most significant books on the subject entitled Computer Art – Computer Graphics, states that it was in the year 1965 that aesthetic Computer Graphics "became more generally known". In that year there were two exhibitions of computer graphics as aesthetic imagery. One in January at the Studio Gallery of the Technische Hochschule (now University) in Stuttgart, West Germany, arranged by Georg Nees; and the other in April at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York entitled "World Exhibition of Computer Graphics", organized by A. Michael Noll. Franke gives credit to William A. Fetter who, he states, was the first to use the term "computer graphics". While Fetter was affiliated with Boeing Corporation, he produced computer drawings of the human figure for use in airplane cockpit design which are now considered as classic computer imagery. Franke mentions another significant figure in his discussion of the beginning years of computer art: Kenneth Knowlton who, with others, was first responsible for picture processing and other digital image processing. His experiments and research involving representational image processing at Bell Laboratories may indeed be considered as standard setting in the medium. We are delighted and honored to have the works of these three pioneers at our exhibition.

Since these pioneering days (15 years ago) surprisingly few persons have come to be known as computer graphic artists. To be a practitioner of the medium three essential ingredients must be present. One is an aesthetic sensibility or a visual awareness. Two is access to a computer with graphic peripherals, the hardware. Three, the ability to interact with the hardware so that visual imagery is generated. This third component is the most critical and whether you can do it yourself or have someone to help doesn't seem to matter. Hence, we find our proponents near centers of high technology, in proximity to their hardware. Anywhere computers can be found, so too can we find the computer artist. In fact, for this very reason, computer aesthetic imagery is as international as computer technology. Four countries are represented in this show: Belgium, France, West Germany, and the United States.

The works assembled here do not represent any single artist. Rather the intent is to provide a cross-section of what has come to be called "Computer Art" and to provide the onlooker with a synergistic glance at an art form of the future as it struggles to find its way into the contemporary art scene. We cannot deny a growing dependence on computers and computer technology in the years to come. Therefore, it might follow that computer art is going to be more significant in the aesthetic world. We have already forced the academe to reconsider the meaning of originality with our random-number generators and the question of removing the hand from the image making process. The computer is indeed a tool at the hand of an enlightened artist.

The cliche "Garbage In/Garbage Out”, was the inspiration for the title of this exhibition. In a typical conversation about computers, we have heard this expression and it represents a common and accepted knowledge about computers. It is a fairly accurate perception. The salient issue, however, is that if one accepts this as gospel about computers one must also concede to the notion that aesthetically intended input must yield aesthetic imagery as output, hence "Art In/Art Out". The intention to use this technologically oriented medium to create imagery is paramount to the physical nature of the computer. The need for self-expression can be actualized by the medium of computer graphics with all aesthetic imagery it is up to the viewer to decide if the integrity of these artists is genuine and is present in their visual statements.

Those who participate with me in this exhibit, I know, either personally or by reputation. We have all exhibited our computer aided graphics as aesthetic imagery. I feel that most, if not all, factions of the medium are represented. I would like to thank all those who are exhibiting their works. Also, I would like to thank the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art for giving my fellow computer artists and myself the opportunity and a place to exhibit. Special thanks go to Wasyl Kacurovsky, the regular Curator of the Institute, for his help and enthusiasm; Dr. Achilles Chreptowsky, founder of the Institute; and Kalina Pomirko, friend and Institute Secretary.


Bill Kolomyjec
Guest Curator
January, 1980

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