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Generative Art Summit Berlin







“It is important to honor Herbert and his unique vision that transformed a scientific vocabulary into Art.  And to celebrate the depth and breadth of his creative thinking, innovating new art forms.  He was at the cutting edge, at the beginning of integrating  science and technology into the creative art practice.  His artwork opened up the field of digital art creating a path for many of us to follow.

It seems valuable to also extend into future thinking, or imaging the future – in digital media with artwork in both the physical and digital realms, in addition to AI and NFTs.”

Joan Truckenbrod’s digital artwork is exhibited and collected internationally. Her Artwork is represented by the RCM Galerie in Paris.

Ms Truckenbrod is Professor Emeritus in the Art and Technology Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has an MFA degree in the Generative Systems Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which then became the Art and Technology Department.

Beginning in 1975 she programmed a computer in FORTAN to create ink drawings using a pen plotter. With the intent of expressing natural phenomena that are invisible yet palpable, she transforms variables in mathematical formulas describing wind currents and light waves reflecting off of irregular surfaces, to generate fluid patterns. “Variables are like pebbles on the beach that tumble and undulate with the pulse of the ocean tides”. Her drawings express the traces, the ephemeral experiences of the natural world.

Transforming programmed images into fiber, she innovated a process to create textiles. Truckenbrod combined programming with xerography, heat transfer and digital printing to create a series of digital textiles – injecting an art into scientific processing. Truckenbrod works across digital media including programming, digital drawing, and painting, digital video sculpture, 3D printed sculpture and digital Jacquard weaving, to address women’s issues, in addition to the degradation of the natural environment.

In 2018 the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York acquired four of her coded algorithmic drawings and one textile for their Digital Art Collection. These artworks were included in their exhibit Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965 to the Present, in 2018 and 2019.

The next year the first of her digital textiles, Electronic Patchwork, was included in a group exhibition at LACMA, LA County Museum of Art, titled Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952–1982. In 2024 two of Truckenbrod’s digital textiles and a roll of pen plotter drawings will be included in the exhibit Radical Software: Women, Art and Computing 1960 – 1981 at Mudam, the Contemporary Art Museum in Luxembourg. This exhibit will open at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna in 2025. An exhibition at AKG Buffalo Art Museum will also include a digital textile.

Major museum collections including Truckenbrod’s digital artwork are the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, the AKG Buffalo Art Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her work is also in private collections.

The Audio Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution includes an interview with Ms Truckenbrod, available in later 2024. She was also interviewed on NPR Science Friday with Christiane Paul on a program called How Artists Made Code Their Paintbrush, in conjunction with the Whitney exhibition in February 2019. In February 2024 she participated in a discussion on Generative Art in the 1970’s sponsored by LeRandom.

Ms Truckenbrod published Creative Computer Imaging in 1988, and The Paradoxical Object, Video Film Sculpture in 2012 which includes artists who inspired her video sculpture installations. Telos published her artwork in Portfolio Collection: Joan Truckenbrod in 2005.