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Early Computer Art


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From 1966 to 1968, I wrote computer programs that created artwork on line-printer paper using a LP-12 line-printer attached to a Bendix G-20 computer at Carnegie-Mellon University.  Using esthetic constructs and constraints, I programmed the computer to generate these pieces itself.  It was an early form of generative artificial intelligence.  I exhibited the resultant pieces at a wide range of exhibitions that started at:


“Some More Beginnings”, BROOKLYN MUSEUM, New York, November 24, 1968 - January 5, 1969


“Cybernetic Serendipity”, INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS, London, England, August 2 - October 20, 1968


As visual output, I used a line-printer, which was designed for engineering output, not for creating visual artwork.  I created tonality by having the computer print text characters on top of each other.

ALSO ...

I took the original software (which I had saved) that generated these pieces (written in Algol 60) and translated the software into the language “Swift”.  I updated the software to take these abstract shapes and create an animated figure called Medusa, which I embedded into PalkaScore.  If you follow “Getting Started with PalkaScore”, the “Medusa” button will appear and you can watch the generative animation.

Duane Palyka
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