Early Experiments in Digital Art

When I attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1979-1985), I dual-majored in Computer Science and Fine Art. Back then, artists barely knew what computers were, other than room-filling number-crunchers. And indeed, our campus computer was a room-filling number-cruncher, and looked almost exactly like this1:

CDC Cyber 6400

I definitely did not fit in to the standard curriculum, and had to create a program for myself (with the help of a very forward-thinking arts professor.) I was also lucky enough to have one of the original Macs.

My graduation exhibition in June of 1985 consisted of photos I captured on a very low-resolution digital camera, digitally manipulated, printed on a dot-matrix printer, and then photographically enlarged into the final print.

I just came across the original prints from this exhibition, which I’ve apparently been hauling around for the last 30 years. Here they are, for all of your retro pleasure…

Computer print, photographically enlarged

Davey

Computer print, photographically enlarged

Computer print, photographically enlarged

Erosion (Spot)

Computer print, photographically enlarged


  1. It had 64k of memory!

What do you think?