[spectre] Stuttgart 1960. Computers in Theory and Art - is online

darko fritz fritz.d at chello.nl
Mon Dec 20 16:31:41 CET 2004

Dear all

Documents form the Stuttgart 1960. Computers in Theory and Art symposium are
on-line [English and German]:

Several text are published in the supplement Algorithms in the Museum, Zarez
magazine no. 145, from 16. 12 . 2004 [Croatian]. Edited by Silva Kalcic.
Texts by Frieder Nake, Jasia Reichardt, Matko Mestrovic and Darko Fritz.



Stuttgart 1960. Computers in Theory and Art

International Symposium at Akademie Schloss Solitude under the auspices of
the art, science & business program, September 30 to October 2, 2004

A group of media theorists and scientific historians introduce the
relationships between technology, theory and art, focusing on Max Bense and
his »Stuttgart School.« The artistic work that emerged from Bense¹s circle ­
above all the computer-generated poetry and graphic work ­ are introduced as
early examples of digital media art. The Stuttgart area around 1960 is
presented as an arena in which new computer technology experiences a
parallel reception in such varied areas as urban planning, administration,
scientific theory and art, and which becomes visible as an impetus for new
configurations of knowledge.

Speakers include: Joseph Vogl, Peter Weibel, Walter Knödel, Rul
Gunzenhäuser, Harald Reß, Frieder Nake, Michael Noll, Georg Nees, Jasia
Reichardt, Matko Mestrovic, Darko Fritz, Hans-Jürgen

Panel 1: An Institut for a Machine ­ the TH Stuttgart´s Computing Center
Panel 2: Testruns ­ Computers Make Art
Panel 3: Pictures at an Exhibition: Algorithms in the Museum
Demonstrating the PDP-LAB8/E

It is long known that the history of the computer after the Second World War
could not be written without its German arenas and actors. But it is largely
forgotten that these contributions are not limited to constructing and
programming such machines; that rather one of the earliest starting points
that awakened thought on the new technical level in relation to the sciences
and art was worked through around 1960 by the philosopher and art
theoretician Max Bense and his group at the Stuttgart Technical Institute
(Technische Hochschule ‹ TH). The reason for this lapse in memory is
probably the high level of formalization and abstraction which ‹ in contrast
to, for example, Marshall McLuhan¹s playful essayistic media science ‹ was
put forward in the informational technological and artistic-practical
conceptualization of the »transclassical machine« (Bense) of the Stuttgart
group¹s public statement. Looking back today, this attempt to establish a
unhistorical concept of form on the technological basis of new computer
systems appears to be a significant element in German postwar society, which
looked to both politically and aesthetically escape its totalitarian past.
It is no coincidence that this attempt played out in Stuttgart, as here a
German computer industry emerged in an exemplary way and represented a »hot
spot« in computer-science thought. Together, the location, the players and
especially the appearance of a new machine in the practice of work and
administration (not least in institutions of higher learning) create the
elements of an unmistakable historical constellation whose material and
conceptual yields have disassociated from their origins and occasionally
continue unrecognized.

The Sympsium was organized with the fellows of the art, science & business
program: Hans-Christian von Herrmann, Christoph Hoffmann and Barbara

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