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Fantastic Summit in Berlin is History

Der Generative Art Summit – From Camera to Artificial Intelligence 1954-2024 hosted in Berlin by the art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke from July 3 to 6, 2024 is a thing of the past. The multi-day event was a resounding success. Around 350 interested people from all over the world gathered to listen to 60 invited pioneers in lectures and discussion panels in the conference section and also enjoyed the opportunity to make personal contact with the pioneers who shaped seven decades of generative art during the breaks. Other guests of honor were collectors, scientists and museum directors or came from platform operators of the Web3 art world. The Foundation would like to thank all the guests of honor and participants for this great celebration of generations from the generative arts. It will publish the prsentations, talkrounds and events in the next months, so everyone how missed it can get an impression.

“Family Photo”: the Summit’s 70 guests of honor in Berlin – all photos: Klara Kusa
Susanne Paech italking with Anne and Michael Spalter
Harry Yeff during his brilliant final conference performance

The film night with the development of computer animation in the second half of the 20th century fascinated visitors with numerous great short films, as did the Late Night Special with Yoichiro Kawaguchi from Japan, who presented his self-programmed wonder worlds with completely alien creatures.

The opening of Herbert W. Franke’s first solo exhibition Illuminating the Invisible at Galerie König St. Agnes Church was also part of the Summit. It showed an overview of different groups of works: from generative photography with an analog computer to Franke’s earliest computer graphics and his large series Math Art, which are shown as transparencies on light boxes, a form of presentation that the artist, who developed these works in the 1980s on the screen, wanted before his death in 2022, when these works were first shown in the exhibition Visionary – Herbert W. Franke at the Francisco Carolinum in Linz. Also on display are two works from the Serie Color (1962), from generative photography, which are being shown to the public for the first time ever on the occasion of this exhibition.

The exhibition Art – Code – Constructions. On the History of Generative Art at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg was opened as part of the Summit program. Numerous invited guests from Australia to Canada took part in a day trip, also visiting the Institut Heiderberger in Wolfsburg. The exhibition is showing physical and digital works from seven decades, from algorithmic painting and generative photography to today’s computer and AI art, until the beginning of August. Most of the works come from the Foundation’s collection Franke & Friends.

The final highlight of the summit was the theater performance Sandfiction 4K: The Orchid Cage. Herbert W. Franke’s 1961 novel is an exciting and bitter parable about the evolution of man in a high-tech entertainment society in cyberspace.