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Analog Computer

The series Dance of the Electrons was created around 1960 with the help of an analog computer already built in the early fifties by the Viennese physicist Dr. Franz Raimann in coordination with Herbert W. Franke. With it, the basic arithmetic operations such as addition and subtraction, multiplication and division as well as differentiation and integration could be carried out. It allowed the development of graphical elements, mostly curves, combined in two-channel superposition – corresponding to the ordinate and abscissa of areal representations. Franke had already begun experimenting with the analogue computer in 1954-58, at which time the series Oscillograms had been created.

However, the output device for this series Dance of the Electrons was a much better industrial oscillograph with a screen diameter of about fifteen centimeters, which allowed much finer structures reminiscent of veils. 


A documentary about Dance of the Electrons was made in 1958 by Rolf Enger, a well-known documentary filmmaker with whom Franke lived as a subtenant for a few years. It was planned to broadcast the film on Südfunk Stuttgart, but in the end this failed because of the music, which the editor at the station wanted to replace, however, the filmmaker Rolf Engler did not accept this. A digitized version of the documentary in 16 mm was archived by the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. A short news version of just under three minutes for the UFA newsreel was also produced and is available at the German Bundesfilmarchiv.