a selection of historic computational works from 1950’s – 1970’s
In 1968, an exhibition on computer art called “Cybernetic Serendipity; The Computer and the Arts” opened at ICA in London. It drew about 60,000 people and was considered one of the major events in the institutionalization of media art. It received an extremely favorable response from the media with some reticence from critical voices who viewed the computer aided art as a threat to pre-existing aesthetics and artistic process. 36 years after the Cybernetic Serendipity show there are varying points of view about code-derived works that still exists, even though the boundaries of science, technology and art are increasingly blurring. Should the discourse on computational art evolve around the idea of fine art object or its process?
“Scratch Code” references the title of Manfred Mohr’s portfolio of prints created between 1970-1975. These works are a prime example of the formulaic methods that are pervasive throughout this show. The group of artists represented in this show were early adopters of the incorporation of code into their artistic process. Although not all the artists in the show became fixtures in the art world, each one of them laid the groundwork for today’s new media artists who utilize code to reveal new forms of representation, interaction and expression.