From the 1950s until his death, Herbert W. Franke did more than anyone else as a scientist, writer and multimedia artist to connect the worlds between science and art. As early as 1957, Franke showed in his book “Art and Construction” that new technologies “open up new, previously unknown areas” for artists. Franke is thus also a pioneer of today’s crypto art, which he himself entered shortly before his death as the first pioneer of “classical” computer art with a major auction project – 100 paintings of his Math Art cycle. The proceeds of this project were used for the conception and establishment of the art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke, which had been planned together with his wife Susanne Päch for some time. The foundation was officially launched in August – shortly after his death – and begins its work with this pilot project Tribute to Herbert W. Franke. On this website all artists are shown with their works. It includes nearly twenty of Franke’s companions in the arts, who – themselves pioneers of algorithmic or constructive art – donate a work of their own to the foundation to be included in the “Franke & Friends” collection.
60 of the world’s most recognized crypto artists, Franke’s “new friends,” whose community he has joined since opening his Twitter account in early March, are also contributing to the Tribute, curated by Anika Meier. They honor their great pioneer with a work realized especially for the Tribute, reflecting on different aspects of Franke’s extensive life’s work as a man of letters and visual artist, as well as a speleologist and futurologist.
A larger portion of the proceeds generated by these works on the blockchain throughout October will go directly to the foundation, which will allocate them for two projects: First, part of the money will be given to the Center for Art and Media|ZKM Karlsruhe, which will thus be able to digitalize the 1,800 manuscripts of the ZKM Archive Herbert W. Franke that have been there since 2017 and also make them publicly accessible.
The second part of the donations will go to a second project that the art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke is realizing together with the Rütgers Foundation and that will support young people in Namibia in the field of robotics and computer science. The Rütgers Foundation has already supported school projects in Namibia in the field of MINT. Managing Director Ralf Gorski emphasizes: “At the suggestion of the Herbert W. Franke Foundation, we are planning a follow-up project in Namibia in the field of robotics and computer science. We are very pleased that the earmarked endowment from the Tribute to Herbert W. Franke will enable us to increase the project funds and thus achieve greater impact for students in Namibia.”
The new project is being implemented in collaboration with the German-Namibian School Partnerships network. Thomas Worringer, teacher at the Euregio Gesamtschule Rheine and spokesman for this network, reports on the initial experiences: “In 2022, we were already able to test the first approaches to robotics and computer science teaching in different age groups at a pilot school in Namibia. With the joint project of the Rütgers Foundation and the art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke further intensify and integrate more schools in the concept. The funding will be used both to purchase suitable robotics kits and to develop appropriate curricula.”
For the art meets science foundation Herbert W. Franke, this Namibia project is intended to support an aspect of Franke’s work that is important to him: According to Franke – a pioneer of German-language post-war science fiction, in which he played out this theme in numerous future models – digitization is a central cornerstone for the future of humanity, and dealing with it is therefore a socially significant factor. Supporting young people worldwide in promoting knowledge of this technology through playful, creative experiences in the classroom is therefore an important global educational mission, he said. “Taking this idea into account through the joint project,” says foundation director Susanne Päch, “is thus the second major concern we want to realize with our pilot project, the Tribute in honor of my husband. We are very pleased that with the Rütgers Foundation we have an experienced partner at our side who can implement this idea with suitable expertise.”
The old friends and longtime companions of Franke
Jürgen Claus, Thomas Franke, Hein Gravenhorst, Heinrich und Benjamin Heidersberger, Karl Martin Holzhaeuser, Gottfried Jaeger, Edgar Knoop, William Kolomyjec, Josef Linschinger, Tomislav Mikulic, Vera Molnár, Frieder Nake, Sylvia Roubaud, Mechthild Schmidt Feist, Reiner Schneeberger, Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Anne Spalter, T. Michael Stevens, Derrick Woodham.
New friends from crypto art
Kevin Abosch, Agoria, Kim Asendorf, Justin Aversano, Loren Bednar, Ryan Bell, Christian Bök, Ana Maria Caballero, Jonathan Chomko, Stefano Contiero, Sofia Crespo, Sterling Crispin, CryptoWiener, Jeff Davis, Brendan Dawes, 0xDeafbeef, Harm van den Dorpel, Figure31/Loucas Braconnier, Fingacode, Julien Gachadoat, John Gerrard, Gin, Eric de Giuli, Alexander Grasser, Andreas Gysin, Leander Herzog, Aleksandra Jovanić, Mario Klingemann, Jan Robert Leegte, Lawrence Lek, Anna Lucia, Jonas Lund, Maya Man, Tim Maxwell, Sarah Meyohas, Operator, P1xelboy, Aaron Penne, Phlins, Casey Reas, Sarah Ridgley, Manuel Rossner, Sylvia Roubaud, Rafaël Rozendaal, Rudxane, Helena SarinMarcel Schwittlick, Travess Smalley, Snowfro, Sam Solooki, Marcelo Soria-Rodriguez, Anne Spalter, T. Michael Stephens, Sasha Stiles, Ivona Tau, UBERMORGEN, Iskra Velitchkova, Whistlegraph, Emily Xie, Yazid, Harry Yeff & Trung Bao, Zancan.