Frieder Nake is a mathematician, computer scientist, and pioneer of computer art. He is best known internationally for his contributions to the earliest manifestations of computer art. Nake is one of the “3N” computer pioneers, an abbreviation that has become acknowledged for Frieder Nake, Georg Nees and A. Michael Noll, whose computer graphics were created with digital computers.
He produced his first works in 1963 being largely influenced by Max Bense’s Information Aesthetics. Until 1969, he went through a succession of increasingly complex programs, using technical support from machine language. His main work phases are identified by the collection of programs, compArt ER56 (1963-65), Walk-through-raster (1966), Matrix multiplication (1967/68), Generative aesthetics I (1968/69). He declared not to continue producing computer art in 1971 for political reasons: he published the note, ‘There should be no computer art in page’, the Bulletin of the Computer Arts Society, explaining his critical views on capitalist society. He resumed publishing on computer art in the mid-1980s with the break away from the radical left. With the start of project ‘compArt: a space for computer art’ in 1999, Nake returned to being a theoretician, writer, creator, and teacher in the domain of digital art. He is currently head of ‘compArt: Center of Excellence Digital Art’.
Frieder Nake has been a full professor of computer science at the University of Bremen, Germany, since 1972. Since 2005, he has also been teaching at the University of the Arts, Bremen. His teaching and research activities are in computer graphics, digital media, computer art, design of interactive systems, computational semiotics, and general theory of computing. Nake’s work is collected by major institutions around the world including Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany;
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Tate Gallery, London UK; Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK.