IASLonline NetArt: Theory

Thomas Dreher

History of Computer Art

all chapters with links in one PDF file

auf Deutsch

Between October 2011 and December 2012 the German version was published in the internet chapter for chapter in the sequence of the table of contents. From August 2013 to June 2014 the English translation was published in the same way. The first update was edited in September 2015.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Cybernetics
II.1 Basics of Cybernetics
II.1.1 Ballistics
II.1.2 Stochastics
II.1.3 Information
II.1.4 Feedback
II.1.5 Homeostasis
II.2 Cybernetic Models
II.2.1 Homeostat
II.2.2 Memory
II.2.3 Path Finding
II.3 Cybernetic Sculptures
II.3.1 Pioneer Works
II.3.1.1 Gordon Pask´s "Musicolour System"
II.3.1.2 Nicolas Schöffer´s "CYSP 1"
II.3.2 "Cybernetic Serendipity"
II.3.2.1 The Exhibition in London
II.3.2.2 Edward Ihnatowicz´s "SAM" and "Senster"
II.3.2.3 Gordon Pask´s "Colloquy of Mobiles"
II.3.3 Light and Sound Installations of James Seawright and Vladimir Bonacic
II.3.4 Nicolas Negroponte, the Architecture Machine Group and "Seek"

III. Information aesthetics
III.1 Computer Literature
III.1.1 Word Processing
III.1.2 Christopher Strachey´s "Love-letters"
III.1.3 Stochastic Texts
III.2 Computer Graphics
III.2.1 Analog Graphics
III.2.2 Digital Computer Graphics

IV. Images in Motion
IV.1 Video Tools
IV.1.1 Video Cultures
IV.1.2 Video Synthesizers
IV.2 Computer Animation
IV.2.1 The Development from the Sixties to the Eighties
IV.2.1.1 An Outline
IV.2.1.2 The Sixties
IV.2.1.3 The Seventies
IV.2.1.4 The Eighties
IV. Film Sequences
IV. Music Videos
IV. Demoscene
IV. The Techno-Imaginary
IV.3. Evolutionary Art
IV.3.1 Biomorphs
IV.3.2 Evolution and Processing
IV.3.3 Fractal Flames
IV.3.4 Emergence

V. Reactive Installations and Virtual Reality
V.1 Operations of Observers on the Interface to the Image Simulation
V.2 Seamless Total Simulation versus Interface Architecture

VI. Net Art: Networks, Participation, Hypertext
VI.1 Computer Networks
VI.1.1 From Timesharing to the Internet
VI.1.2 Participation in Networks of the Eighties
VI.2 Hypertext
VI.2.1 "As We May Think": From Vannevar Bush to Ted Nelson
VI.2.2 Hyperfiction for CD-ROM and the Web
VI.2.3 Collaborative Writing Projects in the Web
VI.3 Net Art in the Web
VI.3.1 Web: Hypertext, Protocols, Browsers
VI.3.2 HTML Art
VI.3.3 Browser Art
VI.3.4 Net Art, Context Art, and Media Activism

VII. Games
VII.1 Computer and Video Games
VII.1.1 Early Computer Games
VII.1.2 Arcade Games and Consoles
VII.1.3 First Person Shooter & Third Person View
VII.1.3.1 Ego Shooter
VII.1.3.2 God Games
VII.2 Pervasive Games
VII.2.1 Spatialization
VII.2.2 Game-oriented World-Interface

VIII. Summary
VIII.1 Three Modes
VIII.2 Interface-Model

IX. Bibliography


E-book, first edition (2014): all chapters as one PDF file with links (16 MB)

E-book, second edition (2020): PDF version without links (for the book on demand publisher Lulu.com) with an update of chapter II.1.1 (44,4 MB)

Book on Demand by Lulu Press, second edition with an update of chapter II.1.1 (2020)

Book on Demand Lulu

Back and front cover of the Book on Demand, Lulu Press 2020


Power Point Presentations:

Part I: Cybernetics: PPT / PDF
Part II: Cybernetic Sculptures: PPT / PDF
Part III: Information Aesthetics: PPT / PDF
Part IV: Video Tools: PPT / PDF
Part V: Computer Animation: PPT / PDF
Part VI: Music Video and Demoscene: PPT / PDF
Part VII: Evolutionary Art: PPT / PDF
Part VIII: Reactive Installations and Virtual Reality: PPT / PDF
Part IX: Net Art: PPT / PDF
Part X: Computer and Video Games: PPT / PDF
Part XI: Pervasive Games: PPT / PDF

Dr. Thomas Dreher
Schwanthalerstraße 158
D-80339 München
Homepage with numerous articles on art history since the sixties, a. o. on Concept Art and Intermedia Art.

Copyright © (as defined in Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial 1.0) by the author, October 2011–December 2012, first update September 2015 (German version); August 2013-2014, first update September 2015 (English version).
This work may be copied in noncommercial contexts if proper credit is given to the author and IASL online.
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