<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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>> William Fetter, Boeing computer graphics, 1964

Jasia Reichardt in "The Computer in Art":
"One of the first exponents of computer graphics was William Fetter of the Boeing Company, for whom the medium represented from the very beginning, a new stage in the art of visual communication."

W.Fetter: 'The techniques of typesetting and the photomechanical processes fulfill the role of translating thought into visual form. Computer graphics represent a further stage in this process involving the skills of a designer, programmer, and an animation specialist. In this latest step, however, there is less scope for ambiguity because the information must be communicated descriptively and accurately. There are three important stages which have to be considered in making computer graphics: first come the communicator who has an idea or message to communicate; second, the communication specialist who decides on the best ways to solve the problems - for instance, whether it should be done graphically, verbally or as a combination of both; third, the computer specialist who selects the equipment and interprets the problem so that it can be dealt with by the computer. It frequently happens, of course, that the communicator, the communication specialist and the computer specialist are one and the same person.'

"The Boeing Company, which first coined the term "computer graphics" in 1960, have used them since to stimulate [hic!] andings on the runway and to determine the possible movements of a pilot sitting in the cockpit. [...] Computer-animated films were also made for testing instruments in the cockpit and showing the pilot appropriate views of part of the ground ahead of the aeroplane by means of a television screen."

--> simulation
--> Boeing, 1960, computer graphics
--> communication, translation
--> design vs art

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.