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Computer art is any art in which computers play a role in production or display of the artwork. Such art can be an image, sound, animation, video, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, videogame, web site, algorithm, performance or gallery installation. Many traditional disciplines are now integrating digital technologies and, as a result, the lines between traditional works of art and new media works created using computers has been blurred. For instance, an artist may combine traditional painting with algorithm art and other digital techniques. As a result, defining computer art by its end product can thus be difficult. Computer art is by its nature evolutionary since changes in technology and software directly affect what is possible. Notable artists in this vein include James Faure Walker, Manfred Mohr, Ronald Davis, Joseph Nechvatal, Matthias Groebel, George Grie, Olga Kisseleva, John Lansdown, Perry Welman, and Jean-Pierre Hébert.
By the mid-1960s, most individuals involved in the creation of computer art were in fact engineers and scientists because they had access to the only computing resources available at university scientific research labs. Many artists tentatively began to explore the emerging computing technology for use as a creative tool. In the summer of 1962, Dr. A. Michael Noll programmed a digital computer at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey to generate visual patterns solely for artistic purposes . His later computer-generated patterns simulated paintings by Piet Mondrian and Bridget Riley and become classics. Noll also used the patterns to investigate aesthetic preferences in the mid 1960s.
Computer art dates back to at least 1960, with the invention of the Henry Drawing Machine by Desmond Paul Henry. His work was shown at the Reid Gallery in London in 1962, after his machine-generated art won him the privilege of a one-man exhibition. In 1963 Joan Shogren of San Jose State University wrote a computer program based on artistic principles, resulting in an early public showing of computer art in San Jose, California on May 6, 1963.
The first two exhibitions of computer art were held in 1965- Generative Computergrafik, February 1965, at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, and Computer-Generated Pictures, April 1965, at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York. The Stuttgart exhibit featured work by Georg Nees; the New York exhibit featured work by Bela Julesz and A. Michael Noll. Note the names of these expositions, not mentioning the word 'art', because these 'generated pictures' were not yet seen as such. A third exhibition was put up in November 1965 at Galerie Wendelin Niedlich in Stuttgart, Germany, showing works by Frieder Nake and Georg Nees.
In 1968, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London hosted one of the most influential early exhibitions of computer art- Cybernetic Serendipity. The exhibition included many of whom often regarded as the first true digital artists, Nam June Paik, Frieder Nake, Leslie Mezei, Georg Nees, A. Michael Noll, John Whitney, and Charles Csuri. One year later, the Computer Arts Society was founded, also in London.
At the time of the opening of Cybernetic Serendipity, in August 1968, a symposium was held in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, under the title "Computers and visual research". It took up the European artists movement of New Tendencies that had led to three exhibitions (in 1961, 63, and 65) in Zagreb of concrete, kinetic, and constructive art as well as op art and conceptual art. New Tendencies changed its name to "Tendencies" and continued with more symposia, exhibitions, a competition, and an international journal (bit international) until 1973.
Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) designed the first Graphical User Interface (GUI) in the 1970s. The first Macintosh computer is released in 1984, since then the GUI became popular. Many graphic designers quickly accepted its capacity as a creative tool.
Formerly, technology restricted output and print results: early machines used pen-and-ink plotters to produce basic hard copy. In the 1970s, the dot matrix printer (which was much like a typewriter) was used to reproduce varied fonts and arbitrary graphics. The first animations were created by plotting all still frames sequentially on a stack of paper, with motion transfer to 16-mm film for projection. During the 1970s and 1980s, dot matrix printers were used to produce most visual output while microfilm plotters were used for most early animation.
In 1976, the inkjet printer was invented with the increase in use of personal computers. The inkjet printer is now the cheapest and most versatile option for everyday digital color output. RasterImage Processing (RIP) is typically built into the printer or supplied as a software package for the computer; it is required to achieve the highest quality output. Basic inkjet devices do not feature RIP. Instead, they rely on graphic software to rasterize images. The laser printer, though more expensive than the inkjet, is another affordable output device available today.
Adobe Systems, founded in 1982, developed the PostScript language and digital fonts, making drawing painting and image manipulation software popular. Adobe Illustrator, a vector drawing program based on the Bézier curve introduced in 1987 and Adobe Photoshop, written by brothers Thomas and John Knoll in 1990 were developed for use on MacIntosh computers. and compiled for DOS/Windows platforms by 1993.
A Zanelle is an artwork painted by a robot[dubious ]. It differs from other forms of printing that uses machinery such as offset printing and inkjet printing, in that the artwork is made up of actual brush strokes and artist grade paints. Many Zanelles are indistinguishable from artist created paintings.
One of the first Zanelle painters was AARON, an artificial intelligence/artist developed by Professor Harold Cohen, UCSD, in the mid 1970s. Another pioneer in the field, Ken Goldberg of UC Berkeley created an 11' x 11' painting machine in 1992. Multiple other robotic painters exist though none are currently mass produced.