IV.2.1 The Development
from the Sixties to the Eighties
IV.2.1.1 An Outline
The history of the digital computer
animation starts in the sixties. The early computer graphics with configurations
of lines representing three-dimensional bodies were mounted to construct
film sequences "frame-by-frame". 1 The sixties
and seventies were the pioneering years in the development of animation
software for the programming of moving objects. This software was developed
at universities in the U.S.A., for example at the Ohio State University
and at the University of Utah. 2 In the eighties proprietary
animation software was developed by and for commercial firms using it
for 3D animations in sequences for movies and commercials as well as for
TV spots and music videos.
Since the early days of the demoscene in the eighties
the creators present their animations on public demo-parties. In the demoscene
the storing of images in a "frame-by-frame" procedure on carriers
has been, was and is obsolete: Authors of demos generate moving combinations
of texts and images by codes controlling the graphics cards of personal
computers. The members of the demoscene communicated with each other about
the programming. 3 Demo-codes were offered on bulletin
board systems (see chap. VI.1.2) for download.
In the eighties mainframe computers were utilised
to produce animations for film sequences according to the tasks presented
by the storyboards for movies. Meanwhile the sequences for movies were
realised by following the requirements of the plots, the creators of music
videos combined techniques of computer animations with procedures used
in experimental films and videos. Further alternatives to movies offered
films by artists who partially took up some elements of the animation
software developed in the seventies for mini- and microcomputers 4,
and the demoscene. Its members competed with each other in demonstrations
of their capabilities to develop real time animations for the limited
technical possibilities of personal computers (A summary of the eighties´
developments offer the last three sections of chap. IV.18.104.22.168).
IV.2.1.2 The Sixties
In 1963 Edward E. Zajac constructed the first computer
animation at the Bell Laboratories (Murray Hill/New Jersey). A box with
edge lines gyrated round a sphere. The sphere should outline the earth
and the box should represent a satellite gyrating round the earth. The
satellite always turned only one of its sides to the earth: "Gyro
gravity gradient attitude control system" was the film´s
title and its content. The frames were programmed in FORTRAN and generated
by a mainframe computer IBM
7090 (since 1959). A Stromberg-Carlson
4020 Microfilm Recorder (made by General Dynamics/Electrics, San Diego/California,
since 1959) presented and stored results. 5
In the following the development of two and three dimensional computer
graphics are presented because they provided the preconditions for the
developments of computer animation.
In 1963 Ivan Edward Sutherland presented "Sketchpad"
in his dissertation: Points could be marked on a monitor. Then an analogue
computer (Lincoln TX-2,
since 1957) followed instructions to build either lines or circles between
the points. For the choice of instructions a little box with knobs stood
beside the computer´s manual. With "Sketchpad" it became
easier to accomplish two-dimensional drawings or plans with many repeated
or varied elements. Sutherland´s interface was planned to allow
an easy application. 6 Beside Douglas Carl Engelbart´s
research developments at the Stanford Research Institute "Sketchpad"
was one of the early user-friendly human-computer interfaces (HCI, see
Morash, Russell: [Ivan Edward Sutherland´s] Computer
Sketchpad. National Educational Television. Filmed by WGBH-TV, Boston.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Lincoln Laboratory. Lexington/Massachusetts
Since 1959 researchers at the General Motors Research Laboratories collaborated
with IBM to develop software for three-dimensional Product Design. The
computer language MAD (Michigan Algorithm Decoder) being developed out
of ALGOL-58 was itself developed further together with the compiler to
NOMAD ("Newly operational MAD"). The programming with DGL (Descriptive
Geometry Language) simplified the use of the DAC (Design Augmented by
Computers)-1 System (since 1963) in drafting processes. The programming
language DGL consisted out of "Variables, constants, statements,
branching, looping, subroutines, and parametrization in which INTERSECT,
SMOOTH, and DISPLAY were just three of a large number of operational statements."
A program with "DGL procedures" was feeded via punch cards into
a computer (IBM
7094, since 1962). Then it was possible to start the drafting process
by working with an electronic pen directly on the screen. DAC-1 could
recognize the position of the electronic pen because a conductive material
was applied on the screen.
General Motors Research Laboratories: DAC-1,
development of a boot lid, between 1965 and 1967.
Above: Graphics console with electronic pen.
Below: Printout. Stills from a film by GM Photographic.
The possibility to draw with the electronic pen on a vertical erected
screen was not useable by ergonomic reasons. Nevertheless the manual of
the DAC-1´s console used for the control of the image processing
was a remarkable step in the history of the CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
...the mode of operation was to program specific application-defined functions for each button on the keyboard.
Transparent shells on the manual´s keys made it possible to rename
them if their functions have been changed. Then the developers´
team introduced icons on the screen. The icons marked programme applications.
With a touch by the electronic pen on an icon a specific application was
The graphic console of the DAC-1 was connected to the mainframe computer
IBM 7094. Since 1965 the console could process three-dimensional objects
as wire-frame presentations (with perspectival overlaps). The image processing
programme for wire-frame models was based on points, lines and surfaces.
Instead of formerly three axes were now five axes used for the localisation
of each element. Nevertheless newer CAD programmes work out the localisations
with only three axes.
The object could be rotated, and designers could zoom into it and out
of it. The parts of the object being not relevant for the angle of a screen
view could be cut off with a "no display" function (actually
named "clipping"): These parts were not calculated in the processing
of the screen view.
The menu offered icons for the functions "line overlay" and
"surface overlay". "Surface overlay" was the term
for the programmed elements used for the processing of the surfaces of
a planned object.
DAC-1 offered a design system for the processing of
objects by the development of codes for punching cards and by the subsequent
corrections via numerical manual inputs of values for variables as well
as via the light pen used to work directly on the screen. 7
The control of programmes for 3D objects via the coordination of input
devices and screen views was realised in DAC-1 in a manner anticipating
such coordinations in later projects.
Sutherland´s "Sketchpad" and the interface
of the graphics console for DAC-1 are early examples in the development
of user-friendly interfaces for CAD. In the seventies Alan Kay´s
research group at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) took up the problem
to design user-friendly interfaces to facilitate non-professional object-oriented
programming. The menus with icons of DAC-1 not only reappeared in the
Xerox Star (1981) but in the graphical user interfaces of the Apple Lisa
(1983) and the Apple Macintosh (1984), too. 8 The mouse
(see chap. VIII.2) superseded the electronic pen. The electronic pen reappeared
in CAD systems´ graphic tablets for the ergonomic adequate fine-adjustment
on a horizontal plane.
Fetter, William Allan/Boeing Aircraft Company:
Above: Fifty Percentile Human Figures Related to Cockpit.
Below: Twenty-Element Figure Placed in Cockpit Geometry.
Photo reproductions of plotter drawings representing humans in cockpits,
between 1966 and 1969. Collection Clarissa, Sprengel Museum Hannover (Piehler:
Anfänge 2002, p.315s., unpaginated with ill. 84,86).
In the early sixties three-dimensional graphics of
human figures were developed by a department of the Boeing Aircraft Company
(Seattle/Washington) directed by William Allan Fetter with the goal to
ameliorate the cockpits of airplanes. The first graphical model of a human
figure was processed by a mainframe computer IBM 7094 and consisted of
lines marking the outlines of volumes without omitting the undercuts.
Prints presenting wire-frame models of human figures were shown in exhibitions
on computer art, for example in 1968 in "Cybernetic Serendipity"
at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Further prints presented
the human figures in three-dimensional line representations of cockpits.
In 1966 the representations of cockpits were used as technical preconditions
for the film "SST Cockpit Visibility Simulation" of eight minutes
From 1964 to 1965 A.
Michael Noll realised films using a program of the Bell Laboratories.
The stereoscopic films exposed one object in slightly displaced perspectives.
A film realised in 1965 presented a four-dimensional hypercube
as a rotating "cube-within-a-cube".
Noll, A. Michael: Hypercube,
film, 1965. Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill/New Jersey. Two stills (among
themselves) of the film presenting a turning four-dimensional hypercube
with two views (horizontally next to each other) for stereoscopes.
The animation program could represent objects as lines connecting points.
Three-dimensional objects were rotatable. The perspective (with overlaps)
and the stereoscopic projection were constituted by programmed "formulas".
The development of a sequence could be organized by instructions for transformations
from one image to the next one. The program controlled the electronic
beam of a cathode ray tube. Its screen was recorded by a 16 mm camera.
In 1964 Kenneth
C. Knowlton developed BEFLIX (abbreviation for "Bell [Laboratories]
Flicks"). The program was based on FORTRAN IV and made it possible
to construct abstract films with mosaic patterns in using a mainframe
7090 and a Stromberg-Carlson
4020 Microfilm Recorder. A coordinate system with a maximum of 252
x 184 "squares" made it possible to allocate grey values in
eight levels to these elements. The grey values were coded with a 3 bit
system. Among others, the system offered functions to connect points to
construct lines, to draw curves as well as to copy and move fields. 11
In a second step the colorization followed with other technical means.
The frames produced as described above became the
fundament for the production of a master magnetic tape: A film laboratory
repeated the frames as often as required by the planned time duration
of a sequence. The then following presentation of the master magnetic
tape in the cathode ray tube of the Stromberg-Carlson 4020 Microfilm Recorder
was recorded by a camera being adjusted to transform discrete elements
into "contiguous blobs of different intensities". 12
VanDerBeek, Stan/Knowlton, Kenneth C.: Poem Field
No.2, film, 1966.
Field No.2" (1966) words and background patterns are dissolved
again and again into entropic fields with a vast amount of elements before
new calligraphic patterns and readable words arised. The program´s
grid for the distribution of elements is used for the creation of patchwork
rugs as well as for the production of patterns in the forms of letters.
Typically for the ten films realised by Stan VanDerBeek with BEFLIX and
the extensions developed by Knowlton for the artist is the "zig-zag
character" of patterns. 13
For the film "Hummingbird" (Part
2 1967) Charles Csuri
and James P. Shaffer scanned the drawing of a bird with extended wings.
The digitised drawing made by Csuri was cut up into lines. These lines
were transformed by the program written in FORTRAN. The transformations
generated by a mainframe computer IBM 7094 were the results of modifications
of the coordinates for height and length ("xy coordinates").
"Hummingbird" was realised with a 835
Microfilm Plotter of the California Computer Products Company (Calcomp).
The film contains 14000 frames presenting configurations of lines changing
step by step.
Csuri, Charles: Hummingbird, film, 1967.
The film doesn´t present a moving bird but
the drawing gets a time dimension by the filmic construct: The drawing
of the bird dissipates into lines sprawling and put together again to
the image of a bird with extended wings. The drawing becomes distorted
and its size as well as its location within the frames are modified. 14
Meanwhile the examples from Zajac to Noll mentioned above are steps in
the development of 3D simulations for CAD and films, the 2D digital film
animations by Knowlton and Csuri showcased in the first case a software
for bitmapping and in the second case a procedure for morphing: In two-dimensional
animations both cases anticipated procedures being integrated later in
three-dimensional digital animations.
IV.2.1.3 The Seventies
Today the conversion of an image
into another image is called "morphing". The Computer Technique
Group (CTG, 1967-69) presents in the computer graphic "Running
Cola is Africa" (1967/68) the conversion of a runner first into
a Cola bottle and then into Africa´s geographic outline. 15
Charles A. Csuri converted in "Aging
Process" (1967) a girl into an old lady. 16
Above: Computer Technique Group (CTG):
Running Cola is Africa, plotter drawing, 1967/68. Collection Computer
Arts Society, London.
Below: Csuri, Charles: Aging
Process, plotter drawing, 1967 (Glowsky: Csuri 2006, p.71).
In 1974 Peter Foldes received wider recognition for
his two-dimensional animation "Hunger/La
Faim", that takes over characteristics of cartoon films: Foldes
used linear interpolation procedures developed by Nestor Burtnyk and Marcelli
Wein to transform among others humans into cars, music stands into women,
women into milk ice, crayons into food. 17
Since 1971 Burtnyk and Wein presented in several
texts 18 the key-frame animation as a procedure to use
the computer-aided interpolation of images to generate film sequences
out of "key images". The manners of interpolation and the time
intervalls ("key intervals") were selectable.
For the "stroke to stroke mapping" the
lines of a drawing were transfered for computation by using a graphics
tablet. In interpolations the sequence of the lines stored in "key
images" determines "the form of the intermediate image."
19 Foldes´ "Hunger/La Faim" demonstrated
the possibilities of the interpolation as a method for the realisation
of surprising and sometimes grotesque deformations.
For three-dimensional animations real objects are
reconstructed at first as wire frames. Wire frame models present
like Noll´s "Hypercube" (see chap. IV.2.1.2) all
sides of an object regardless of overlaps. The wire frame provides in
a further step the basis for the break up of curved surfaces into flat
areas with edges (polygons). For the construction of a polygon model the
overlapping areas (one surface behind the other) of the wire frame model
and their changes in rotations have to be calculated. In 1963 Lawrence
Gilman Roberts developed the first program for the calculation of hidden
surfaces. In 1974 Ivan Edward Sutherland, Robert F. Sproull and Robert
A. Schumacker investigated alternative programs with "hidden surface
algorithms", described their advantages and disadvantages, and draw
their conclusions. 20
From the object to the wire-frame and polygon model
with smoothed planes (Sutherland/Sproull/Schumacker: Characterization
1974, p.5, fig.2c-f).
In the simulations of three-dimensional objects in
an "interactive perspectivalism" 21 all sides
are digitally constructed. An observer in front of the screen sees only
parts of the simulated three-dimensional object as it was organized for
a program-internal observer (as an observer constructed within the program).
Parts of the construction of an internal observer are the perspectival
overlaps changing with the objects´ motions. The observer within
the simulation system is adjusted to the visual perceptive faculties of
humans at the interfaces to the system (external observer).
(Parke: Animation 1972, p.452, fig.1).
The presentation of virtual objects in different angles poses problems
to program light and shadow. In 1971 Henri Gouraud developed a method
to calculate a "continuous shading" for surfaces being converted
The approach...is to keep the polygon approximation of the surface, but to modify slightly the computation of the shading on each polygon so that continuity exists across polygon boundaries.
The polygons surfaces are calculated at the interpolation of the colours
at the vertices
of adjacent polygons. Then the interpolations are projected on a curved
surface with a continuity of the "shading" dependent from a
continuity between the polygons.
The calculation of the Gouraud shading proceeds through several steps:
For the calculation of colour values for a polygon the adjacent polygons
offer the relevant informations at the vertices. Gouraud describes the
goal of this method:
Each polygon has a different shading for each of its vertices, and the shading at any particular point inside the polygon has to be computed as a continuous function of the shading at the vertices of the polygon.
In a cathode ray tube used as a screen for the simulation the lines of
an electron beam constitute cut surfaces ("scan lines") through
polygons. If an electron beam constitutes a polygon line by line within
a cathode ray tube then the colours of its vertices are interpolated with
the colours at the polygon´s edges (between the vertices). Then
the colours of the polygons adjacent to these edges are interpolated with
the colour values at the points of the lines constituted by the electron
Polygon A-B-C-D and the "Scan line" E-P-F
built by the lines of the electron beam in a cathode ray tube E-P-F (Gouraud:
Shading 1971, p.91, fig.5).
In Gouraud Shading a polygon´s surface properties
are dependent from the properties of the adjacent polygons: Vertices,
edges, surface normal (calculated as a vector perpendicular to the polygon´s
surface) and relations within each polygon are correlated. At the vertices
the passages between the polygons are smooth, meanwhile the outlines of
edges are broken instead of constituting continuous lines (because the
interpolygonal mediation of the Gouraud shading is absent at the edges).
The absence of highlights causes a diffuse overall impression.
In 1975 Bui-Tuong Phong proposed
a procedure to calculate zones with different texture-dependent light
properties for each polygon. For each point within a polygon Phong interpolated
"the surface normal vector" between surface properties like
light reflexes and shading. That increased the computational work considerably
compared to Gouraud shading. 23 The disadvantage of
Gouraud shading its rougher procedure without gloss lights
also was its advantage. Meanwhile Ivan Edward Sutherland´s professorship
at the Computer Science Faculty of the University of Utah (1968-74) Gouraud
(1971) and Phong (1973) graduated about the problems of shading mentioned
A Melitta teapot ("Utah teapot") from 1974
became a model for computer animations.
Left: Three examples for texture mapping (Blinn/Newell: Texture 1976,
Right: Martin E. Newell´s measurement of the Melitta teapot on squared
History Museum, Mountain View/California.
In 1968 David Evans set up a department for the development
of programs for CGI (Computer-generated Imagery) at the University of
Utah. Michael Newell´s "Utah
teapot" was a three-dimensional simulation
of a Melitta
teapot. In 1974 Newell bought it in a supermarket at Salt Lake City.
At the University of Utah the Melitta teapot was used as a test case for
problems of three-dimensional simulations: from wire-frame models via
(the smoothing of) polygon surfaces to the working out of textures, shades
and light reflexes. 25
Edwin Earl Catmull invented texture mapping and z-buffering.
In 1974 the application of two-dimensional surface structures (textures)
on three-dimensional virtual objects was made a theme in Catmull´s
dissertation (under the supervision of Prof. Ivan Edward Sutherland) as
well as z-buffering calculating the hidden and visible parts of an object.
Pixel values stored in the framebuffer (image memory) are compared with
information about the depth of a new pixel. The z-axis is the depth axis,
and the z-buffer contains the information about the depth of a visible
object. If a new pixel is stored in the framebuffer, then in the framebuffer
the value of the new pixel will be stored as the value to be used in presentations.
In 1974 the procedure was developed by Wolfgang Straßer, too, in
his dissertation on "Schnelle Kurven- und Flächendarstellung
auf graphischen Sichtgeräten." 26
James Frederick Blinn developed many programs for
CGI, among others for rendering, clipping, lighting atmospheric effects
and environmental mapping. Rough surfaces can be simulated with Blinn´s
bump mapping (1978). Problems with surfaces still looking flat in 3D animations
can be solved by combining texture mapping with bump mapping. 27
In the seventies The Graphics
Research Group of the Ohio State University developed under Charles Csuri´s
direction the animation systems ANIMA (since 1975), ANIMA II (since 1977)
and ANTTS (since 1979). ANTTS (ANimated Things Through Space) was running
on a DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) VAX
11/780 minicomputer (since 1977). The system operated with two buffers,
a frame buffer and a buffer for the duration of sequences. 28
The systems of the Ohio State University anticipated the development of
the eighties and nineties: Animation systems were created at first for
mainframe and minicomputers, then for personal computers, too. 29
Meanwhile in the seventies experimental films were
realised with video tools for two-dimensional animations (see chapter
IV.1.2), software for three-dimensional animations was developed in research
projects for mainframe computers resulting in presentations of the state
of the development and occasionally in sequences for movies (see chap.
IV.22.214.171.124). Contrary to the experimental filmmakers with mostly analogue
video technology the developers of software for mainframe computers were
oriented on the production of movies and commercials. In the eighties
this led to image simulations provoking expectations about virtual worlds
(see chap. IV.126.96.36.199). Imaginations of simulations becoming autonomous
worlds reappeared as contents of movies (see chap. IV.188.8.131.52). The means
of the computer-aided image processing had to be accomodated to the requirements
of directors realising films with such contents. Science fiction novels
of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling or Neil Stephenson could suggest to
their readers that the technical development will proceed until in a not
too far future virtual worlds with autonomous developments ("cyberspace")
will arise. 30
IV.2.1.4 The Eighties
IV.184.108.40.206 Film Sequences
In 1972 Edwin Earl Catmull and Frederick I. Parke
documented in "Halftone Animation"
an animation in the making: It started with the scanning of plastic models
(a plaster model of Catmull´s hand) on whose surfaces line networks
were drawn for the partitioning into polygons. Furthermore "Halftone
Animation" presents the animation of a face with Gouraud shading
(see chap. IV.2.1.3). 31
Catmull, Edwin Earl/Parke, Frederick I.: Halftone Animation,
In Michael Crichton´s "Westworld"
(1973) Yul Brynner appeared in the role of the android "Gunslinger"
challenging visitors with prepared weapons in the amusement park "Delos"
to duels. The harmless fights for the visitors´ distraction changed
to mortal fights. Gary Demos and James Whitney Jr., colleagues at Triple-I
(Information International Inc.), presented Gunslinger´s observation
of his environment as digitised and modificated film recordings: The digitalisation
via colour film scanner, made possible by the high resolution cathode
ray tubes of Triple-I, was transformed into a rough pixel grid. For this
procedure the colours were separated into three tonal values and a mask
for black areas. The separated was converted into rectangular blocks.
The tonal values resulting from this conversion were translated into colour
values. For the 10 second during sequences of the android´s view
with a total duration of 2,5 min an eight hours lasting computing process
Simulations of hands and faces
realised by Catmull and Parke between 1972 and 1974 were in 1976 presented
in Richard T. Heffron´s (director) "Futureworld",
the sequel to "Westworld", as sequences on a control monitor.
The animation on the monitor presents Peter Fonda´s
head in a transition from a polygon animation to smoothed facial features
with light reflexes as a part of the production of a doppelganger. Gary
Demos and John Whitney Jr. photographed Fonda´s face from different
angles and transfered these data via graphics tablet in a digital 3D space.
This archive with face data was the starting point for further animation
steps being presented on the control monitor as the becoming of the doppelganger´s
head in a change from edged to smooth surfaces. 32
Heffron, Richard T.: Futureworld, film, 1976.
Fonda plays the journalist Chuck Browning. Browning discovers a clone
production in the amusement park "Delos". For the clone production
genetic codes by well known and influential persons are used without
the knowledge of the cloned persons. Browning is cloned, too. The doppelgangers
are used for the far-reaching ambition to achieve the world supremacy.
Lucas, George: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, film,
1977 (scene with the projection of the Empire´s station "Death
Star" and its production with GRASS, explained by Larry Cuba).
In 1977 Larry Cuba used Tom DeFanti´s animation program GRASS (see
chap. IV.1.2) to realise a wire frame simulation for a two minutes lasting
sequence in George Lucas´ movie "Star
Wars Episode IV: A New Hope". The animation presented the Empire´s
station "Death Star" as a projection in a training session of
the Rebel Alliance´s pilots directed by General Dodonna. The simulation
should correspond to the public´s expectations of computer-generated
animations. That is why Cuba renounced to use animations simulating surfaces
Scott, Ridley: Alien, film, 1979. Alan Sutcliffe´s
computer animation on navigation screens in the spaceship Nostromo.
In 1979 Ridley Scott integrated in "Alien"
wire frame simulations by Alan Sutcliffe in a scene during the landing
of the spaceship "Nostromo" on its navigation screens: In the
descent mountains appeared as wave lines. 33
Carpenter, Loren C.: Vol Libre, film, 1980.
In 1980 Loren C. Carpenter featured in the short
film "Vol libre" a computer
animated mountainscape generated by fractals. Carpenter´s demonstration
of the use of fractal geometry in a three-dimensional landscape representation
was his ticket to Lucasfilm. 34
In 1981 appears the first computer animated actress in Michael Crichton´s
Meanwhile in "Futureworld" the animated body parts still appear
as film-within-the film, "Looker" is the first movie presenting
a simulated actress.
Crichton, Michael: Looker, film, 1981. Scene with a
scan of a fashion model´s body.
In "Looker" fashion models offer their bodies for digitalisations
to receive monthly salaries for the rest of their lifetime. The virtual
models are then used by Digital Matrix in advertisement films. After the
scan process of a model´s body (model played by Susan Dey) follows
directly the construction of a body simulation. The animation skills of
Triple-I made it possible to represent the model´s digitalisation.
The film features the investigations to find out
the causes for the deaths of three of the virtualised models. Meanwhile
the movie leaves the cinema visitors in the dark about the causes, the
TV version uncovers them: The living proofs for the existence of the digital
bases with body data are eliminated by Digital Matrix like all
documents that could be useful for competitors. 35
Meyer, Nicolas: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, film,
1982. Genesis demo.
In 1982 the Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Research
Group created a one-minute demofilm sequence for Nicolas Meyer´s
"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" ("Genesis Demo sequence").
The sequence presented a planet being revived by a "Genesis
Torpedo", as prescribed by the plot. For the three-dimensional
animation Reyes Rendering was utilised. Loren C. Carpenter realised the
simulation of the landscape with fractals. Agitated surfaces representing
fields of heat energy among others were generated with Particle Systems.
Reyes Rendering and Particle
Systems are developed by the Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Research Group.
The versatile animation system Reyes Rendering is constructed to need
as less computing capacity as possible for realistic simulations. Therefore
Ray Tracing is reduced to a minimum. 37 Curved surfaces
are divided in "micropolygons". In Reyes rendering the "micropolygons"
are the geometric basic element of nearly all algorithms: "They are
flat-shaded quadrilaterals that are approximately 1/2 pixel on a side."
The needed computational effort is reduced by simple procedures running
parallel. Basic elements ("primitives") are transfered to "micropolygons"
only so far as it is necessary for the simulation of smooth surfaces.
Shading is simplified by a condensation of "micropolygons" to
wider raster areas (leading to savings of identical edges at adjacent
"micropolygons") and by a vectorisation of the "shading
"Particle Systems" was developed by William T. Reeves at the
New York Institute of Technology. The program for "Modeling a Class
of Fuzzy Objects" offers animators procedures to simulate "clouds,
smoke, water, and fire":
They are not rigid objects nor can their motions be described by the simple affine transformations that are common in computer graphics. Particles change its form and move with the passage of time. 39
Particles are more simple basic elements ("primitives") than
the polygons. the model is procedurally defined and can be programmed
that similar to fractals in zooming in a "particle
system" with stochastic procedures constantly new details become
recognisable. New particles arise while elder particles disappear.
According to Reeves, in the "Genesis demo"
for "Star Trek II", a fire wall of the revived planet was generated
with "400 particle systems" which included 750.000 particles.
Sims, Karl: Particle Dreams, film, 1988.
In 1988 Karl Sims demonstrates the possibilities of "Particle Systems"
Dreams". The particles in motion don´t represent bodies,
nevertheless they can be coordinated to simulate snowflakes or running
water. At the beginning of the film a pointillistic head-shaped configuration
arises by a three-dimensional spreading of particles that are then ejected
out of the mouth. This process grows up to a self-dissolution, as if heads
never were solid bodies. With this scene Sims points out the program´s
possibilities beyond movie sequences: It involves more than the results
of experts for specific special effects realising the director´s
ideas and the requirements of the storyboard.
Sims implemented "Particle Systems" on
a "data parallel computer", The
Connection Machine CM-2 of the Thinking Machines Corporation (since
1985). Sims wrote his program in "a parralel language called Starlisp"
for the simultaneous operations of "thousands of processors"
including the virtual processors. 41 Cliff Lasser and
Steve Omohundro wrote Starlisp
for the Connection Machine. The program used PVARS (Parallel Variables)
for computing in vectors.
In 1982, after "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" the cinemas
(1982), directed by Steven
Lisberger (direction and script). In "Tron" Ed Dillinger
(played by David Warner) manages the media imperium ENCOM whose supercomputer
controls with its self-developing "Master Control Program" most
of the computer systems and prevents the ingress into protected sectors.
Kevyn Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges) was a former employee of Dillinger´s
company ENCOM and works now in amusement arcades controlled by ENCOM.
Flynn tries to utilise the security programme "Tron", which
is independent from the "Master Control Program", to infiltrate
the center of the "Master Control Program" and to destroy the
"Master Control Unit". Flynn tries to proof that Dillinger became
president of ENCOM because of data theft: He presented computer games
developed by Flynn as his invention.
The story of "Tron" is structured in three levels: the amusement
arcades controlled by ENCOM, the ENCOM premises, and within ENCOM the
"Master Control Program" running on the supercomputer. This
program decouples avatars from its system-external users. These avatars
are prisoners of a virtual world forcing them either to survive in winning
games played on technically installed platforms against other prisoners
or to be eliminated as losers. The "Master Control Program"
menaces Dillinger by using his control of the database storing the evidence
of Dillinger´s fraud. With this control the power seeking "Master
Control Program" takes over ENCOM´s control of the games in
Via the combat between users and their avatars against the "Master
Control Program" the movie thematises the balance between programming
for external aims and correlations within the program. Independent from
the "Master Control Program" is the safeguarding program "Tron"
maintaining the contact to the users and supporting their control over
their avatars. "Tron" takes up science fiction patterns in its
presentation of a system being controlled by a totalitarian power to be
For "Tron" Triple-I,
Abel & Associates and Digital
Effects realised computer-based animations with different programs.
The combination of these animation companies was a result of the challenge
to develop computer animated film sequences for "Tron" with
a total duration of 30 minutes (including background animations). The
involved animation companies received instructions from Richard Taylor
(computer effects supervisor) and Bill Kroyer (computer image choreographer)
being obligatory for the fitting-together of the contributions. Digital
Effects realised the title sequence and "Bit", a crystal-shaped
polygon object changing form and colour with its binary replies (yes/no).
The "Light Cycles", "Recognizers" and "Tanks"
were animated by MAGI. The company executed with their animations of a
total length of 15 minutes the largest part of all computerised animations.
Triple-I realised the "Master Control Program", a solar glider
and Sark´s spaceship. The sequence with Kevyn Flynn entering the
system of the supercomputer was developed by Abel & Associates. Syd
Mead and Jean `Moebius´ Giraud drafted the two-wheel vehicles ("light
cycles") and their environment within the supercomputer´s system.
MAGI´s Software "SynthaVision"
"converts models of quadric surfaces, polygons, and other geometric
forms into three-dimensional images. These can be shaded and textured."
In SynthaVision a director´s code offered animators the definition
of motion patterns for objects and the preliminary fixing of cameras and
lighting. With SynthaVision fluid motion sequences could be achieved easily.
SynthaVision´s capabilities to simulate complex elements were limited
compared to the simulation of poygon nets by Triple-I. Abel & Associates
realised vectorial effects with their animation software developed under
the directon of Bill Kovacs. 43
After "Tron" virtual worlds were presented
again in movies like the TV series "Max
Headroom" (1985-87) and in novels like William Gibson´s
"Count Zero" (1986) as autonomous electronic systems `communicating´
with reality in various ways. 44 Presented in films,
novels and postmodern criticism of the media these fictions constituted
elements of a "techno-imaginary" (see chap. IV.220.127.116.11) projecting
the contemporary computer animation into a future of autonomous virtual
systems because this evolution seemed to be inevitable.
Lasseter, John: Toy Story, film, 1995. Still.
In the eighties and nineties the expectations toward the computer animation
for movies were shaped dominantly by Pixar
(Lucasfilm´s former department for computer animation turned autonomous)
and Industrial Light and Magic. The
next steps of the history of movies with computerised animations to "Insektors"
(1993, broadcast in 1994, Studio Fantome), the first TV series made exclusively
with computer animations, and to "Toy
Story" (1995, Disney-Pixar), the first movie completely animated
by computer-based image processing will not be considered here. It is
sufficient for the "History of Computer Art" to work out relations
between computing processes and forms of presentation up to a degree of
differentiation suggesting expansions of technical and artistic possibilities
as well as the search for combinations with other fields to construct
hybrids and intermedia (see chap. I).
Since the eighties the computer animation was and is augmented for the
realisation of movies, meanwhile with the utilisation of animation technologies
in reactive installations new concepts of human-computer interfaces (HCI)
were and are explored (see chap. V).
IV.18.104.22.168 Music Videos
For the realisations of three-dimensional computer animations the technical
equipment for music videos included in most cases cheaper products than
the equipment for sequences in movies. The products used to create the
clips presented below were the Evans
and Sutherland Picture System (since 1974), the Quantel
Paintbox (since 1981) and the Bosch
FGS-4000 Computer Graphics System (since 1983). For animations these
systems included hardware-specific software. Their purchase prices were
cheap enough to be used in productions of TV programmes, advertisements
and music videos. In the examples below, the technical efforts for the
video with Mick Jagger´s "Hard Woman" (1985, see below)
stands out because it was realised on a supercomputer.
Costello, Elvis: Accidents Will Happen. Music video
with animations of Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, 1978.
In 1978 Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton created a
music video with animated drawings for Elvis Costello´s "Accidents
will Happen". It ended with vector graphics presenting outlines
of Costello´s face. 45
In 1982 Rebecca Allen drafted the figure of Saint Catherine in Twyla
Tharp´s 90 minutes long dance film "The
Catherine Wheel" von 1982 (with music by David Byrne) as a computer
animation with chaotically crossing white lines on a black background
and as a multicoloured wire frame figure. The dancer Sara Rudner coordinated
her actions with the motions of the animated saint, thus provoking observers
to ask themselves how long it will still be recognisable who reacts to
Steve Miller Band: Abracadabra, 1982. Music video by
In 1982 Peter Conn (Homer
& Associates) created a music video for Steve Miller Band´s
by transforming a digitised film with the software "Forth" running
on the "8-bit
computer paint system" that was developed by Paul Rother (Homer
& Associates). The console consisting of 24 channels for editing and
the paint system were utilised for a presentation of relations between
actress, actors and magic props in a studio installed with low expenses.
A "burning flame" praised in the lyrics reoccurs several times
in the video. In several sequences the image processing via paint system
takes on a life of its own in the form of colour patterns built by overlapping
rectangles spreading out for a short time and then disappearing again,
meanwhile coloured squares sparking out of a sorcery query their representing
function by a confetti-like colourfulness. The love song can be related
to the bandleader and composer Steve Miller blended in with his guitar
at the beginning and at the end. 46
In 1983 Rebecca Allen (animation) with Will Powers
(Lynn Goldsmith), Robert Palmer and Sting (music) thematise in "Adventures
in Success" a seemingly automated wish fulfillment: The message
of the refrain "It´s you. Make it habit. Make it happen. Only
you" tells us that the trail from the wish to its successfull realisation
is nothing more than a demand for an imaginary self creation. In the computer
animated clip three masks move their mouths as if they sing the refrain.
Via texture mapping (see chap. IV.2.1.3) two of the three masks show the
facial features of Will Powers. If the masks turn so far that they have
to unveil their backside, then reappear their fronts: They are only facades.
The impression of a reversal of the direction is produced by an optical
In "Adventures in Success" Allen melds film recordings with
two- and three-dimensional animations. The two-dimensional animations
look often like cartoon figures and allude to advertising claims. 47
Ashley, Robert: Perfect Lives, 1983. Video opera, visualised
by John Sanborn and Dean Winkler.
John Sanborn and Dean Winkler visualised Robert Ashley´s
Lives" (1983). The composer Ashley performs the multiple storylines.
He and the piano player "Blue" Gene Tyranny dominate image and
sound: Repeating motifs are Ashley´s upper body with hands gesticulating
in the course of his speech presentation and fade-ins on "Blue"
Gene Tyranny´s hands playing piano. Ashley, Sanborn, Tyranny and
others involved worked with variations of leitmotifs on the levels of
images, sound and speech. They created a postmodern "video opera"
with seven half-hour-long episodes. 48
Ashley, Robert: Perfect Lives, Part VII: The Backyard,
1983. Video opera, visualised by John Sanborn and Dean Winkler.
The animation programmed digitally by Alvy
Ray Smith in 1979 for Ed Emshwiller´s "Sunstone"
treated images in the virtual space like turning windows in a cube-like
arrangement. 49 Smith´s animation anticipated
Sanborn´s and Winkler´s sequence in "Part VII: The Backyard"
in "Perfect Lives" with Ashley speaking in an associative manner
about a "polychrome heart service". On the cube´s sides
appear Ashley´s head and Tyranny´s hands playing piano. Between
the loose coupled planes of the cube appears a little cube reflecting
the form of the wider cube and its projections on each plane.
Tacuma, Jamaaladeen: Renaissance, 1984. Music video
by John Sanborn and Dean Winkler.
In 1984, for the opening of the Computer Museum in Boston, Sanborn and
Winkler created the clip "Renaissance"
accompanying Jamaaladeen Tacuma´s funk jazz instrumental music.
The video with its images of Boston Harbor, stereometric bodies flying
above raster planes and turning grids can be observed as if it is created
by using elements of the history of computer animations in a toy world.
The animation was built with a Quantel
Paintbox (since 1981) and integrated spatial layers for recombinations
and transformations of buildings and stereometric objects.
Between the video segments of "Abracadabra" Conn changes the
camera perspective on the studio room. The actress and the fireballs are
the constants between the segments. On the other hand, Sanborn and Winkler
choose for "Perfect Lives" a multi-perspective montage-pictorial
space constituted by fade-ins with changes in the type of composition.
Sanborn and Winkler create in "Renaissance" an image space graded
in deep layers, but buildings and stereometric objects become moving motifs
as if flying objects constitute the urban space. The extensions into the
depth of the image space change with the constellations consisting of
arbitrary multipliable and manipulable elements. "Renaissance"
is an example for the transition from film recordings edited in post-production
to videos with image spaces mostly constituted by computer animations.
In "Adventures in Success" Allen varies the modes of representation.
Cuts are softened to transitions via corresponding background designs
of the cartoons representing projections of a better self. In contrarary
Sanborn and Winkler present in "Renaisance" continuous transformations
of the image space by digital image processing: from cutting sequences
to the transformations of the image space by digital image processing.
Dire Straits: Money for Nothing, 1985. Music video
by Steve Barron.
In 1985 Steve Barron produced a clip to Dire Straits´
for Nothing". The composer Mark Knopfler featured a seller´s
thoughts: Musicians receive "Money for Nothing". Knopfler wrote
the lyrics in memorizing the comments of a seller whom he met at a "hardware
department in a television/ custom/ kitchen/ refrigerator/ microwave appliance
Ian Pearson and Gavin Blair used the animation system Bosch
FGS-4000 and a Quantel Paintbox. They preferred monochrome surfaces
and renounced shadings and textures. The animation artists divided the
seller in two virtual figures ("Sal" and "Harv") composed
with stereometric volumes. The virtual sellers acted in simulations of
a sitting room with a TV and a salesroom with a television wall and a
large projection. The MTV lifestyle mentioned in the lyrics got its visual
counterpart in the MTV logos presented on the television wall. Film recordings
of a Dire Straits concert appeared on screens within the virtual space.
Several times these concert recordings took over the complete screen and
replaced the virtual space. Some parts of the live recordings were edited
and it looks as if the contours of microphones and others have been traced
with a highlighter.
In contrast to the fade-ins with the musicians in concert the sellers
are animated as combinations of stereometric elements carrying appliances
through the salesroom. The function of this deindividualising typecast
is ambivalent: Meanwhile it offers the sellers a protection by anonimisation,
it is degrading, too. With the accentuation of the criticism´s function
as a psychic valve of humans in dependent working conditions listeners
are influenced to understand the sellers´ utterances as improper.
With the animation of their bodies as combinations of blocks the virtual
sellers appear as caricatures of real sellers because the whimsical faces
and the gaudy colorization provoke doubts concerning the adequacy of their
Jagger, Mick: Hard Woman, 1985. Music video by Digital
In 1985 Digital Productions created for Mick Jagger´s
Woman" animations on the super computer Cray
X-MP (since 1983) with the company-owned software "Digital Scene
Simulation". The body volumes of a female and a male figure are only
slightly outlined by `luminous´ colored lines meanwhile the background
shines through. Not only "Hard Woman", the subject of the lyrics,
but also Jagger appear as figures constituted by lines. Furthermore film
recordings of the singer appear within a street simultaneously in several
entrances of the animated houses. The content of the lyrics is not interpreted
by the animation: It plays visually around some elements of the lyrics.
51 The 3D animations of the `luminous´ stick figures
are further developments of the 2D figures created by Allen for Tharp´s
"The Catherine Wheel" (see above).
If the lyrics contain only variations of the subject love then the possibilities
to create extraordinary music videos are very limited, if animators are
restricted to visualise motifs of the lyrics. Then computer animators
are not only incapable to change the lyrics´ trivial and redundant
characters but rather they inforce it. At least Conn´s video for
"Abracadabra" (see above) and "Hard Woman" suggest
The huge hits as "Video of the Year Winners" of the broadcast
MTV in Los Angeles were in 1986
the clip for "Money for Nothing" by the Dire Straits and in
the clip for "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel.
Gabriel, Peter: Sledgehammer, 1986. Music video by
Steven R. Johnson.
In 1986 Aardman Animation and Brothers Quay were directed by Steven R.
Johnson to create a clip for Peter Gabriel´ s "Sledgehammer".
The clip is realised without computerised image processing and takes up
early animation methods with his fast cuts and fade-ins of `flying´
objects that move through the image space. The scenes with modelling clay
animations incorporate elder animation methods for the revivification
of inanimate objects. The motion animation via pixilation
is not only used for the modelling clay figures but demonstrated with
the singer Peter Gabriel, too: Recordings of his head are are edited frame
by frame he appears as "living stop motion puppet". So
he is a figure in the video that is treated in the same way as the modelling
clay figures. Peter Gabriel is said to have been lied 16 hours under a
sheet of glass meanwhile the animation artists recorded the takes.
"Sledgehammer" offers in the genre music
video a successful counter-image to music videos with computer animation.
Nevertheless the counter-image offers also artificial image spaces, montages
of moved objects in unreal sizes and fast image or cut sequences. 52
"Sledgehammer" became the most sent clip in the history of the
Kraftwerk: Musique non Stop, 1986. Music and video
by Rebecca Allen.
When Rebecca Allen started in 1983/84 to prepare a clip for Kraftwerk´s
"Musique non Stop" she
used the same equipment of the Computer Graphics Laboratory at the New
York Institute of Technology, as in "Adventures in Success"
(see above). Because Kraftwerk´s musicians finished the sound studio
editing of their recording only in 1986, Allen was not able to complete
her animation at an earlier date.
In her animation she uses no film recordings of the musicians. Nevertheless
with her animation of heads and bodies she takes over the characteristics
of the musicians´ performance in concerts: The four musicians are
dressed with the same clothes and with the same hairstyle. They stand
in identical distances behind their tables on which their equipments are
installed to operate with them.
Allen divided plastic models of the musicians´ heads in fields,
photographed them from different angles to receive the informations being
relevant for the preparation of animated wire frame models. In the clip
these four heads are presented in different arrangements as figures in
wire frame simulations (without overlaps), polygon animations and animations
with smooth surfaces. At the end of the clip Allen presents recordings
of fielded head models reminding crashtest dummies. Then a white masks
appears, receiving at first eyes then facial colours before it changes
into a black-and-white simulation with lines as basic elements.
Parallel to Kraftwerk´s technopop with its minimalist repetitions
and a few variations as well as their de-individualized concert performance
with a few standardised gestures Allen combines phase segments of the
process to construct the musicians´ 3D-simulations. She presents
these elements as if they were segments of a repeatable studio process.
Meanwhile "Sledgehammer" escapes digital
smoothness with impure surface stimuli of the film recordings, this smoothness
is celebrated by by Allen and Kraftwerk: The `impure´ against the
reduction to `pure´ elements of a machine-made precision. By taking
up Kraftwerk´s hybrid esthetics between human, machine and computer
as well as the wire frame animations of the seventies´ science fiction
movies (see chap. IV.22.214.171.124), Allen plays with elements precoded as technoid.
(The animations of) the humans look as if they are de- and reconstructable
like robots. 53
The singer Perla Batalla was the model for recordings of body motions
by Motion Analysis Inc. The motion patterns were translated into a digitised
model of an actress called Dozo: Dozo with a smooth skin appearing lifeless
moves like Perla Batalla and sings with her voice. Dozo sings lyrics written
by Walczak and Kleiser about her situation as a virtual performer (music:
Frank Serafine). In "Don´t Touch Me" Kleiser and Walczak
used motion capture not anymore as a modular building block system for
the presentation of a virtual world parallel to the concerts of a band
like the animated versions of the Kraftwerk´s musicians in
"Musique Non Stop" but present an artificially made star.
The audiovisual performance of the music clip presents a musician in a
star-like position. But this musician should be able to present himself
without concerts, and has to try to become independent of a career as
a concert star. Meanwhile the distribution of music clips remains bound
to media packages with concert stars, "Don´t Touch Me"
is a model for the computer animation of human bodies and their motions
developed out of the forms of music videos.
After 1987 the sales of music
videos on videocasettes collapsed. The major labels of the music industry
reduced their budgets for clips. 55 Music clips remain
distributed by television boradcasters like MTV (since 1981): The character
of a designed interplay between the levels of image and sound shifts more
then before to the promotion of musicians as stars dominating the visualisation.
The fast replacements of sequences would have been too time-consuming
and expensive for the film animators´ montages of frames at cutting
tables. These fast following cuts remained a core element of the promo(tion)
style after the decline of the sales of music videos on videocasettes.
Kleiser and Walczak conceptualised "Don´t Touch Me" not
anymore as a video to a musical work. Instead they designed it as an art
film financed by Hewlett Packard to demonstrate in 1989 the technical
development of virtual actors in its actual state without references
to stars in concerts.
The combination of simulated figures and life recordings
in "Money for Nothing" was a compromise between Mark Knopfler
and the task of MTV to present interesting clips instead of documentations
of concerts. 57 Between virtual performers as main actors
like Dozo in "Don´t Touch Me" and their
degradation to statists beside filmed concert stars in "Money for
Nothing" offers Allen in "Musique Nonstop" a third possibility
to relate musicians and computer animation to each other: the simulation
with virtual actors as a parallel world to the concert performance and
its real actors.
In the eighties
the demoscene arose out of the activities of crackers who removed the
copy protection (in the software) of computer games and added intros to
their copies. These cracktros for the personal computer Commodore
64 (1982-94) were distributed since 1983. Cracktros included the logos
of their creators (sometimes moved), a scroll text, graphic elements (sometimes
moved), and music. The music was written in formats similar to MIDI files.
Furthermore the cracktros contained instructions for computing processes
first in assembly language and later for C and C++. 58
The codes were written for computers with 8-bit processors which realised
the screen presentation in real time 59, without recognizable
time delay. An alternative to these processors of the Commodore 64 offered
since 1985 the 16-bit processors of the Commodore
German Cracking Service: Slamball,
cracktro for Commodore C64, 1984 (Botz: Kunst 2011, p.54ss.).
The cracktros were developed
to autonomous demos. From 1987 to 1990 groups presented their demos one
after another in megademos. 61 Since 1987 a scene for
personal computers with the operating system MS-DOS arose and became independent
from the Amiga demoscene in 1992. Today demo competitions are organized
for participants with different kinds of personal computers of the eighties.
and mainframe computers were used for the frame-by-frame creations of
film sequences. This technology for computer animation constituted the
bottom end of a scale of available computing capacities, and the demoscene
built the opposite end using the low computing capacities of personal
computers for real time animations. 63 Between these
extremes of animations for big and little computers tools were available
for digital mini- and microcomputers like Tom DeFanti´s GRASS (since
1973, for DEC PDP
11/45, since 1972, see chap. IV.1.2) and ZGRASS
(since 1978, for Datamax
UV-1, since 1978) 64 as well as Woody Vasulka´s
and Jeffrey Schier´s Digital Image Articulator (1976-78, for DEC
LSI-11, since 1975, see chap. IV.1.2). In the eighties Steina and
Woody Vasulka realised interesting videos with the Digital Image Articulator.
65 At the same time Mary Jane Veeder developed with
ZGRASS a two-dimensional visual language with signets resp. icons as well
as a two-dimensional personal language derived from arcade and video games.
The animations realised with mainframes and supercomputers
were oriented to the ideal of hyperrealism. Hyperrealism was (yet) no
goal for many digitally produced videos by artists and for the demo scene´s
real time animations: Contrary to the simulation machines for cinemas
(and advertisement) were alternative concepts exploring the possibilities
offered by the computing capacities that were affordable for private persons.
Authors of music videos hark back to various artistic as well as cinematic
forms of animations and combine the aesthetics of videos and movie. 67
The animations for film sequences being realised
with mainframe and supercomputers were commissioned by producers of the
entertainment industry. These films should fulfill the expectations of
the movie goers. In contrary the animations created by Mary Jane Veeder,
Steina and Woody Vasulka with mini- and microcomputers were experimental
films made with the goal to find new film forms. On the other hand creators
of the demoscene used personal computers to develop their own subculture´s
aesthetics with running text-(three-dimensional augmented) icon-combinations
despite limited technical possibilities.
The creators of demos practice a counter model to the commercial exploitation
of copyrights by the movie distributors and the video game industry. The
authors of demos abstain from profits and distribute their products free
of charge. This distribution in combination with open software (with sites
containing collections of files with codes for free download) sustains
a collaborative development of programming. 68 This
open culture and its use for collaborative developments became a model
for alternative digital cultures.
IV.126.96.36.199 The Techno-Imaginary
the eighties computer art was perceived by humanities scholars from the
point of view of a "techno-imaginary". The term stood for a
virtuality being valued positive. Recent and possible future developments
of digital media and telecommunications were imagined as the constituents
of this virtuality. With the upcoming telecommunications (see chap. VI.1.2)
scholars foresaw an ubiquitous distribution of signs 69
causing an imagination not only of a deterritorialised socialisation but
of a virtual world, too, allowing to connect it to the reality as if we
live in an electronic world and need interfaces not as accesses to virtual
worlds, but to reality. 70 Paul Virilio´s theses
on the development of relations between media, time and territories in
the 20th century were combined with Jean Baudrillards theses on simulation
71 to an analysis of an accelerated sign distribution
leaving behind referential functions. This sign distribution removes the
experience of a material presence into a distance as if the everyday world
can be observed only from a historicising and museumising point of view.
The "hyperreal" of a remoteness leaving behind the reality as
uncatchable infects already the experience of the presence, meanwhile
in earlier times this remoteness has been only a problem of reconstructions
of the past. 72
On the one hand the exchange of commodities should
not always have been a distribution oriented to the exchange value: As
proofs serve comparisons with gifts and their functions in not mercantile
organised societies. On the other hand in mass media the communication
of signs with signs is accelerated in media assisted ways oriented to
exchange values replacing communication increasingly by "floating
signifiers". The symbolic interaction (communication) looses its
community constituting functions and is replaced increasingly by specatacle
organisations constituted by corporative organised connections between
distribution systems for different kinds of media. Within these connected
systems the music video is only one product in a row with others (records-TV-movies-concerts-videos-advertisement).
With the Situationists the pure
spending of gifts without responding gifts by the donees became a model
for free exchange. 74 A precondition for a free exchange
is configured by `objects´ or signs not tied to codes as they are
constituted by exchange values among others. These ties are transformed
under conditions of the "hyperreal" into shadows of its own
past in which they arose. Recipients finally accept spectacle organisations,
because the signs circulating as parts of these spectacles impregnate
the consciousness until it is impossible to distance oneself from imaginations
determined by others. The world of illusions constituted by "simulacra"
becomes all-embracing. 75 The 3D simulation created
with computer animation can be interpreted as a part of the spectacle
organisation especially if the simulated objects are presented as parts
of an autonomous virtual world.
In a time when computer games still were not able to simulate in a hyperrealistic
way a world with immersion producing effects (see chap. VII.1.3.1) the
movie "Tron" (see chap. IV.2.1.4) demonstrated how the virtual
worlds of computer games provoke fictions of `other worlds´. Nevertheless
these worlds behind screens are accessible only by technical interfaces
the simulations are primarily experienced as emotionally experienced environments.
Lisberger´s movie shows the fight between the "Master Control
Program" and the safeguarding program maintaining the users´
control. This fight reacts to the vision of simulated actors supervising
our imaginations of a socialisation in a technically organised world that
produces not only games but assimilates itself to them ("gamification").
Nevertheless Tron´s reconstructed balance between virtual and real
worlds was presented on a literary level as a science fiction and on a
filmic level as a spatialisation of the plot: In "Tron" the
computer animation served as a means to realise the literary and filmic
fiction of an interaction between human and computer, as it was developed
in the plot and in the storyboard with `pencil and imagination´,
independent of computing capacities. Contrary to this fictionalisation
are we faced today in the web 2.0 with real problems to organise big data
with either an open or a hidden control of data streams.
Although Baudrillard tried in his criticism of the
simulation and the simulacra to explain the spectacle organisation as
a civilisation distributing signs so that its members loose increasingly
the capability to recognise dependencies from outside controls, his criticism
is tuned by some of his followers to an euphoria over technology. 76
The accelerated distribution
of signs can not only be a part of the spectacle organisation of simulations
but a cause for the dissemination of gender patterns, too. This possibility
arised with the technological means offered by an accelerated computer
aided image processing and a layered virtual image space replacing representations
of real spaces by possible phase spaces. Peter Weibel presented these
spaces in his theses on the "Pictorial Space in Electronic Art"
77 and in collaboration with Valie Export in the performance
"Voices from an Inner Space" (1988) 78 as
a possible way to a civilisation reorganising itself digitally and transgressing
gender specific role patterns.
After algorithms generating fractals were used in computer animtaion
to create formations perceived by humans as landscapes (compare Loren
C. Carpenter 1980 in "Vol Libre" and 1982 in "Genesis demo"
for "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", see chap. IV.188.8.131.52),
Export and Weibel get inovled in "Voices from an Inner Space"
with the two-fold tie of computing processes to representing as well as
symbolic functions and transgress it unilateral: They dissolve symbolic
functions nevertheless they provoke imaginations of bodies beyond gender
stereotypes and renounce with it to transgress representing functions,
too. However these functions aren´t used anymore for renderings
of real states of affairs but for their transgressions.
of a "Chronocratie" accelerating the distribution speed of digital
organised knowledge is the distribution of personal computers: In Silicon
Valley the counterculture of hackers and early networks became neoliberal
(see chap. VI.1.2) 79 and provides with the distribution
of personal computers and their increasing capacities the precondition
of a technoperspective 80 that is shared by cyberfeminism´s
theses on "cyborgs": If biological restrictions of human bodies,
as they are given for example by sexual characteristics, become transgressable
by new possibilities for biological transformations, then the social ties
between the biological sex and gender specific role patterns are obsolete,
because the first one becomes as flexible as the last ones. 81
cyberpunk suggestion of a living with "biochips" facilitates
to imagine `the human´ as a "prosthetic god" 83
augmenting himself and being able to extend this process to a transformation
of himself into a self-navigating computer. Contrasting to this conception
of a technoid self-transformation published by Oswald Wiener already in
the midst of the sixties 84 the real problems are, how
to generate artificial life by self-transforming computing processes.
Each computer and each software set insurmountable limits to self transformations
because the transformation rules of computing processes always determine
how codes can be developed: The ideal of an unlimited emergence is a technically
unreachable long-term goal. 85
In the eighties authors combined the possibilities
of 3D simulation with an artificial intelligence and an artificial life
taking up concepts of evolutionary art ( (see chap. IV.3.1 and chap.IV.3.2)
as well as with telecommunciation as if these scopes inevitably will grow
together to a "cyberspace". 86 But these scopes
don´t merge as seamless together as a technoperspective of the eighties
promised it. Perhaps "Second Life"
fulfills today some of these ideas on the combination of 3D simulations
with telecommunication, but this platform offers to bring in ideas on
artificial life only on a semantic level but not on an algorithmic level.
Theories of cyberspace obscured that the technical possibilities of 3D
simulation needed above all the human imagination to develop image sequences
and film sequences: Humans work on the interfaces to computers and computing
processes in using systems combining several software evolutions with
the goal to prepare phase spaces until they are conclusive for observers
whose expectations were shaped by pictorial, photographic and filmic codes.
Computer animation is used by creators of movies especially to develop
further the concepts of art that were shaped by these codes: Digital animations
are `projection machines´ created by humans for humans.
of the word "machine" can´t be restricted in this context
to the frameworks of technical terms. "Machine" is a psychological
term, too, which means here the imagination´s fitting together of
heterogenous elements to new syntheses 87, but not algorithms
of transformations executed in computing processes, in whatever way humans
may be able to perceive the presentations produced by these generations
(see chap. VIII.1 on modular and generative procedures). The "desiring
machine" cinema affects the expectations of computer animations´
creators, meanwhile Evolutionary Art gives the "technical machine"
an autonomy by liberating computing processes controlled by algorithms
from hereonomous functions. The outputs of these generative processes
become an experiment for humans´ observing operations: Here it is
open what can constitute the "desiring machine" in the future.
88 But this openness presupposes a generative art using
evolution only as a point of reference (see chap. IV.3.3). However Evolutionary
Art´s variant simulating plants and bodies binds the "technical
machine" to the "desiring machine" by the representational
function of the presented sign configurations (as organic bodies) and
their symbolic function (via the chosen vicinity to the biologic evolution
(see chap. IV.3.1 and IV.3.2)). In this case the "desiring machine"
is not liberated by twofold representational and symbolic ties but contents
itself with the extension of the imagination and representation of relations
between art, technology and science. But these ties were criticised by
the philosophers of postmodernism as "dispositives" that should
be deconstructed. 89
Dr. Thomas Dreher
D-80339 München. Homepage with numerous articles
on art history since the sixties, a. o. on Concept Art and Intermedia
Do you want to send us your opinion or a tip? Then send us an e-mail.
1 Jones: Synthetics 2011, p.45; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann:
Computer 1990, p.14s.; Weibel: Geschichte 1984, p.18.
The digital "frame-by-frame" procedures take up the image-by-image
procedure of the classic films storing sequences of images on footage
made of light-sensitive material (celluloid and others). In the film projector
the spooled film is led over a light emitting projection mechanism respectively
reeled off and spooled again. The procedure of the image production, the
storing medium and the coordination of the image sequences in this medium
are substituted by other procedures in video technology (magnetic tape)
and digitalisation. The "frame-by-frame" procedure permits to
use the entire computing capacity for the production of each of the single
images ("frames") constituting the film. The monitor presentations
of the calculated frames are photographed. A sequence of photos combined
"frame-by-frame" on the footage provokes the impression of movement.
In the eighties the creation of image sequences with a computer executing
programmed transformations from frame to frame was a long-standing process
with results being surprising for the programmers, too. If images were
moved on the film spool or on magnetic tape as well as on the projectors
or recording devices, then the computer was nothing else then an an image
processing device and the playback didn´t cause any problems because
no computing devices were needed (Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer
1990, S.14s.). back
7 Carlson: History 2003, Section
3; Goodman: Visions 1987, p.21s.; Krull: Origin 1994 (quotes). back
8 Interfaces for the human-computer interaction:
Alan Kay and his research group at Xerox PARC, Palo Alto (Palo Alto Research
Center): Bardini: Bootstrapping 2000, p.215s.; Flückiger: Effects
2008, p.54; Friedewald: Computer 2009, p.237-355; Manovich: Kay 2007;
Manovich: Software 2008, Part I, Chapter 1; Rheingold: Tools 1985, Chapter
Xerox Star, Apple Lisa und Apple Macintosh (cf. ann.64): Friedewald: Computer
2009, p.343-351,379-409; Matis: Wundermaschine 2002, p.270s. back
13 Le Grice: Computer 1974, p.163.
Knowlton used the experiences he made in collaborations with VanDerBeek
to develop TARPS ("Two-dimensional Alphanumeric Raster Picture System").
With TARPS the films from "Poem Field No.1" (1964) to "Poem
Field No.8" (1967) were created (Lansdown: Computing 1975. As the
program used for the realisation of "Poemfields" Gloria Sutton
(Sutton: Vanderbeek 2012) mentions only BEFLIX, bot not TARPS). back
14 Csuri/Shaffer: Art 1968, p.12,97; Jankel/Morton:
Computer Graphics 1984, p.22s. with ill. 1.10.1-4; Youngblood: Cinema
1970, p.202s. Rosen: Record 2006, p.46 with ill.42: "Programming
Assistance: Samuel J. Cardman, and J. Carroll Notestine...Shaffer developed
the technique to bring in short segments of the plotter drawings. Csuri
developed the ideas of morphing, randomness and fragmentation, which were
implemented by Shaffer, Cardman, and Notestine. Charles Csuri, e-mail
to [Margit Rosen]..., 8 May 2006." back
15 Reichardt: Computer 1971, p.81s.; Reichardt: Serendipity
1968, p.75s. back
16 Glowsky: Csuri 2006, p.33,71. In chap. IV.2.1.2
Csuri´s procedure to create animations was sketched out in the description
of the film "Hummingbird". back
23 Phong Shading: Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer
1990, p.94; Morrison: Computer 1994, chap. 1970-79;
Phong: Illumination 1975, p.312: "When planar polygons are used to
model an object, it is customary to shade the object by using the normal
vectors to the polygons. The shading of each point on a polygon is
then the product of a shading coefficient for the polygon and the cosine
of the angle between the polygon normal and the direction of incident
24 Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer 1990, p.93ss.,147.
25 Carlson: History 2003, Section
20; Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.58s. with ill.8s., p.86 with ill.10,
p.270 with ill.81. back
27 "Bump Mapping": Blinn: Simulation 1978;
Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.85s.
On James F. Blinn: Auzenne: Visualization 1994, p.52-59. back
28 Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer 1990, p.26,30s.
29 Autodesk, since 1982; Wavefront, since 1984; Prisms,
since 1985; TOPAS, since 1986; Pixars Render Man, since 1988 (acquirable
since 1989); Autodesk Animator, since 1989 (for personal computer); Wavefronts
Composer, since 1991; Wavefronts Kinematon and Dynamation, since 1992;
After Effects, since 1993 (see Manovich: Effects Part II 2006, chap. Deep
Remixability: "remixability of previously separate media languages").
30 Gere: Culture 2008, p.184s.,190ss.; Neuhaus: Gibson
33 Star Wars Episode IV: Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics
1984, p.111; Weibel: Geschichte 1984, p.27.
Alien: Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics 1984, p.110s.; Mason: Bits 2006,
p.12-15; Mason: Computer 2008, p.233ss.: Sutcliffe´s "program
was written in FORTRAN with calls to FROLIC subroutines". Colin Emmett
developed the animation software FROLIC and Alan Sutcliffe used it on
a minicomputer Atlas
Lab Prime 400 (since 1976/77). Sutcliffe created a polystyrene model
of the mountains. He used their measures as basic elements of his simulation
(Mason: Bits 2006, p.14). back
35 Auzenne: Visualization 1994, p.53,67,86; Flückiger:
Effects 2008, p.62,424; Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics 1984, p.118s.;
Wikipedia: Looker 2012.
Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.424 on the scene with the simulation coming
after the whole body scan: "As in `Westworld´...the digital
figure´s construction is simultaneously present as the narration´s
subject; in the narrow sense no illusionment takes place with the artificial
body, but the representation is framed as technically made..."
Animated sequences in "Westworld", "Futureworld",
"Looker" and "TRON" (see below) were created by Triple-I
(Information International Inc.) (Flückiger: Bodies 2010, p.7ss.,12s.;
Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.62,115,423s.,427; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann:
Computer 1990, p.37). back
36 Auzenne: Visualization 1994, p.76s.; Flückiger:
Effects 2008, p.66,116s.,132s.; Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics 1984,
p.39,49s.,115ss. with ill. 7.12.1-8; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer
1990, p.35,120. back
37 In 1986 a computer was developed especially for
the animation system: Reyes had complex algorithms implemented on its
graphics machine and was more powerful than its predecessor Pixar and
the Cray X-MP utilised for example by Digital Productions (Conlan: Computers
Ray Tracing simplifies the calculation of light beams. Not all beams reflected
by an object, but only the reflexes are calculated that became visible
from the observer´s point of view. In the beginning of the seventies
the Ray Tracing technique was used first by the MAGI (Mathematical Applications
Group Inc.) animation system (Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.181s.; Goldstein/Nagel:
Simulation 1971; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer 1990, p.101s.).
38 Cook/Carpenter/Catmull: Reyes Image Rendering 1987
(quote p.97). back
39 Reeves: Particle Systems 1983, p.359. Cf. Flückiger:
Effects 2008, p.132s.; Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics 1984, p.39. back
42 Carlson: History 2003, Section
6; Conlan: Computers 1986, p.75-83; Flückiger: Bodies 2010, p.12s.;
Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.7s.,117,216s.,427; Gere: Culture 2008,
p.182ss.; Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics 1984, p.110 with ill.7.1, p.112-115
with ill.7.2-7.10, p.118s.; Weibel: Musik 1987, p.141. back
43 Auzenne: Visualization 1994, p.62,68; Carlson: History
6; Conlan: Computers 1986, p.75-83; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer
1990, p.37; Morrison: Computer 1994, chap. History
(1982) as Arcade Game of Bally/Midway Games contained four little games
that included sequences of the movie (Wirsig: Lexikon 2003, p.471). The
game was more successful than the film. back
44 Gere: Culture 2008, p.190s.
The main character in the TV series "Max Headroom" was not simulated
via computer animation: The contemporary techniques of film production
(actor Matt Frewer with make-up) were extended by video editing. Computer
graphics realised in 1987 on a Commodore Amiga for the American version
of the series included only the appearance of the protagonist on monitors.
After an accident (by disregarding the warning "maximum headroom")
the main character "Max Headroom" existed only as a monitor
phenomenon, as prescribed by the plot (Masson: CG 101 1999, chap. History
of Computer Graphics). back
46 The Catherine Wheel: Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics
Abracadabra: Conn: Promos 1983, p.8. back
47 Goodman: Visions 1987, p.163 (Software: system with
face parameters developed by Frederick I. Parke, director of the Computer
Graphics Laboratory at the New York Institute of Technology. Hardware:
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Vax
11/780 (since 1977), Evans and Sutherland Picture
Frame Buffer); Jankel/Morton: Computer Graphics 1984, p.,119,133s.
with ill. 8.34 back
48 Ashley: Perfect Lives 1991; Machan: Ashley 1986; Nabakowski: Geld 1985.
John Sanborn and Dean Winkler used "Video
Image Processing" for editing (video synthesis and video editing).
Richard Wagner, "Oper und Drama" ("Opera and Drama"),
1952, on the "leitmotif" as a conception of the music drame:
Wagner: Oper 1994, p.163,286,298-308,332s.,349-365,419,446ss., 492s.,
532s. (On the "leitmotif" in "Perfect Lives": John
Rockwell, cited in: Nabakowski: Geld 1985, p.91). back
49 Auzenne: Visualization 1994, p.110s.; Jankel/Morton:
Computer Graphics 1984, p.46ss.; Weibel: Geschichte 1984, p.32. Programming:
Alvy Ray Smith, Lance Williams und Garland Stern (at the Computer Graphics
Laboratory of the New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury/Long
50 Knopfler 1994 in: Flanagan: Interviews (undated).
On the music clip "Money for Nothing": Barron: Dire Straits
2006; Girl on Film: Anniversary 2010.
On rotoscoping: Flückiger: Effects 2008, p.110,216. back
51 Flückiger: Bodies 2012, p.10s.; Flückiger:
Effects 2008, p.425s.; Goodman: Visions 1987, p.2s.,162s.,187.
On the economic efficiency of supercomputers for animations (using Digital
Productions as an example): Auzenne: Visualization 1994, p.86ss. back
52 On the interpretation of "Sledgehammer":
Drewett/Hill/Kärki: Peter Gabriel 2010, p.57-69,195-209. back
54 Flückiger: Bodies 2010, p.9 with ann.8; Flückiger:
Effects 2008, p.424 with ann.8; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer 1990,
p.238; Morrison: Computer 1994, chap. History
Motion Capture was developed by Jim Hanson and Brad de Graf (Morrison:
Computer 1994, chap. History
1980). In the closing credits of "Don´t Touch Me"
De Graf is named as one of the "body flexing software consultants".
The face animation was realised by the interpolation of key frames using
software developed by Larry Weinberg. The body animation was created with
software from Konrad Witz. back
56 Fast following cuts resp. fast change of short sequences
in music videos: Poschardt: Video 2004, p.14.
After 1987 exceptions from the music video as a promotion for the concert
star are for example Daft Punk (because of their self chosen anonymity
Revolution" (1998), directed by Roman Coppola)) and Aphex Twin
Johnny" (2005) by Chris Cunningham). back
58 On the form of Cracktros: Botz: Kunst 2011, p.14;
Tasajärvi: History 2004, p.13.
Cracktros, since 1983 for Commodore 64: Botz: Kunst 2011, p.14,46,51s.,63s.
Examples by TRIAD und FAIRLIGHT: Botz: Kunst 2011, p.77s.
Programming languages of the cracktros: Botz: Kunst 2011, p.59s. back
60 Botz: Kunst 2011, p.46-50,103-107; Matis: Wundermaschine
The illegal copies of computer games made and distributed by a cracktro
scene dominated by Commodore users caused a decrease of the sales being
earned by game enterprises with their versions for the Commodore computers.
After all the game producers reduced the versions made for Commodore personal
Commodore had no success with its efforts to reach more clients of business
computers. One of the reasons for this failure was Commodore´s fame
as a producer of personal computers for gamers and creators of videos.
These people used the capabilities of Commodore computers for graphics
presentations and the tape deck for audio casettes (Tasajärvi: Demoscene
2004, p.12; Wikipedia: Amiga Software 2012, chap. Piracy). In 1994 the
image problems originating in these technical characteristics as well
as other reasons led to the bankruptcy of Commodore Business Machines.
In 1986 Andy Warhol demonstrated in a TV programme the capabilities that
personal computers offer to creators of graphics: He used a paint system
(Graphicraft by Commodore Amiga Inc.) on a Commodore Amiga 1000 to rework
a digital image representing Deborah Harry (Goodman: Visions 1987, p.89).
Warhol showcased how simple it was to use a Graphical User Interface (GUI)
(Lambert: Computer 2003, chap.6: The
Act of Using) and presented the graphics possibilities of the Commodore
Amiga 1000. The demoscene did not need programmes that kept users via
GUI away from the source code. back
61 Botz: Kunst 2011, p.132-153 (with an interpretation
of Red Sector´s Megademo 1989, from p.145 onwards). back
62 Botz: Kunst 2011, p.15,220-232,241-249; Reunanen:
Computer 2010, p.47s. back
63 Important producers of personal computers were in
the seventies and eighties: Xerox (Alto, 1972; Star, 1981); MITS (Altair
8800, since 1974); IMSAI (8080, since 1975); Apple (Macintosh, since 1976;
Apple II, since 1977); Commodore (PET, since 1977; C 64, since 1982; Amiga,
since 1985); Atari (400/800, since 1979); IBM (IBM 5150 Personal Computer,
since 1981). Lit.: Augarten: Bit 1984, p.270-281; Friedewald: Computer
2009, p.366-409; Matis: Wundermaschine 2002, p.271-288. back
Dietrich: Real Time Animation Techniques 1982; Jankel/Morton: Computer
Graphics 1984, p.84; Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer 1990, p.33. Datamax UV-1 is
a small computer constructed for ZGRASS. Bally planned to market the Datamax
UV-1 as a home computer. Datamax UV-1 should have to compete with the
Apple II (see ann.63). But Bally gave up this sphere of business in 1980.
65 Vasulka, Woody: Bad, 1979 and Artifacts, 1980. In:
see chap. IV.1.2 with ann.45.
Vasulka, Steina: Selected
Treecuts, 1980. In: Hatanaka/Koizumi/Sekiguchi: Vasulka 1998, p.19.
66 Veeder, Mary Jane: Montana,
1982. In: Magnenat Thalmann/Thalmann: Computer 1990, p.33s.; Popper: Electra
Furthermore with ZGRASS:
Cuba, Larry: Calculated
Movements, 1985. In: Youngblood: Cuba 1986. Further examples: Jankel/Morton:
Computer Graphics 1984, p.82 with ill.6.6, p.84. back
67 Diedrichsen: Kunstvideo 2004, p.73-78: Feinemann:
Kunst 2004, p.87s.; Theweleit: Frühgeschichte 2004, p.58-65; Weibel:
Musik 1987. back
69 On the Techno-Imaginary: Rötzer: Technoimaginäres
1988, p.66ss.; Rötzer: Technoimaginäres 1989, p.55. The concepts
of a "techno-imagery" are bound to computer technology, meanwhile
Villem Flusser defined the "techno-imagery" independent of this
technology (see ann.76).
Telecommunication and sign distribution: Virilio: Bild 1989; Weibel: Beschleunigung
1987, p.110ss.,125. back
70 Baudrillard: Ecstasy 1983, p.127 ("The subject
himself, suddenly transformed, becomes a computer at the wheel, not a
drunken demiurge of power."); Rötzer: Technoimaginäres
1989, p.55. back
72 The Hyperreal: Baudrillard: Simulacres 1981, chap.
"Museumification" of the present: Baudrillard: Simulacres 1981,
Cf. Jeudy: Welt 1987, p.10s.; Lübbe: Zeit-Verhältnisse 1990.
73 Floating signifiers: Derrida: Ecriture 1967, p.423s.;
Rötzer: Technoimaginäres 1988, p.67.
Marketing strategies connecting distribution systems for different kinds
of media and the music videos within these strategies: Weibel: Musik-Videos
Spectacle-organisation: Debord: Société 1967/1992, chap.1-3,
p.9-41; Dreher: Performance Art 2001, p.353 with ann.574. back
74 Dreher: Valie Export/Peter Weibel 1992, p.19s. back
76 Villem Flusser uses the term "techno-imagination"
in a positive sense for an exploration of the possibilities offered by
the technological progress to create new `technical images´ (Flusser:
Umbruch 1998, p.169,209-222; Krtilova: Bild-Theorie 2010, p.11). Flusser
explained these possibilities at a point in time when the correlations
between technical and social progress seemed to open new perspectives
on a better future. back