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Generative Art Summit Berlin

Photo: Christoph Schauer

I am very happy that Heidersberger’s work is shown in the context of the pioneers around Herbert W. Franke (1927 – 2022). Franke and Heidersberger (1906 – 2006) one generation apart. Heinrich Heidersberger’s Rhythmograms are an early example of algorithmic art, using photography as a recording medium with additional photographic techniques. His contribution to Lissajous figures is the construction and use of a four pendulum mechanical analog computer with exact initial conditions. This systematic approach allowing for repeatability leads to stunning results.

In 2010 Franke wrote a text (“Die Lichtspuren von Heinrich Heidersberger” (The Light Traces of Heinrich Heidersberger) where he is stating that the name Heidersberger was known to him since around 1960 because of his industrial photography and his Rhythmograms.

At the Institute Heidersberger in Wolfsburg we still have the historical Rhythmograph in working order as well as the 300 original Rhythmogram glass plates in the archive. Also there is the electronic analog computer I built in 1980 to make the Rhythmograph interactive.

Wolfsburg with 120.000 inhabitants (out of which 50.000 are working for Volkswagen) is a major location of the global car industry. The change from originally mechanical engineering to a knowledge based economy is happening fast. In the last 10 years the number of employees with an academic degree has doubled and is among the highest in Germany.

To attract and keep intellectual potential means to have an also intellectually and artistically stimulating environment. The core idea of algorithmic art is the same as of programming: autonomous rules that stand between the artist and the art.

After the 2006 exhibition at the Kunstverein (“Traum von der Zeichenmaschine”, Dream of the Drawing Machine) the Generative Art Summit is coming to Wolfsburg. I can not imagine a better place for the exhibition.