[artinfo] "Art Meets Science" Herbert Franke events

Oliver Grau oliver.grau at donau-uni.ac.at
Mon Apr 23 14:26:13 CEST 2007

"Art Meets Science"

Events in Honor of the 80th Birthday of Herbert W. Franke

Herbert W. Franke, expert in media theory, 
pioneer of computer art, and co-founder of the 
"ars electronica" festival, will celebrate his 
80th birthday in May 2007. On this occasion, a 
cycle of several events, themed "art meets 
science" and dedicated to Herbert W. Franke's 
life's work, will take place at various locations 
in Germany and Austria from May through July 2007.

Within the scope of the "art meets science" 
events on the occasion of his anniversary, 
Herbert W. Franke will conduct "Science Talks" 
with scientists of very different backgrounds - 
physicists, computer scientists, Artificial 
Intelligence experts, psychologists and 
philosophers - on topics such as the future of 
man or the origin of art, and discuss questions 
like "what does it mean to be a human being" or 
subjects as artificial intelligence, reality and 
cyberspace. The events will also feature Mr. 
Franke reading and interpreting some of his 
utopian short stories with plots in line with the 
mentioned issues.  A collection of his stories 
will be republished in a best-of-edition by 
"Phantastische Bibliothek", Wetzlar, too, on the 
occasion of his anniversary.

Subsequent to the "Science Talks", an exhibition 
of his works of computer art or a multimedia arts 
event are planned, as Kunsthalle Bremen (arts 
exhibition hall) for instance, has acquired Mr. 
Franke's collection of computer art. It has been 
gathered over fifty years and contains his own 
works as well as some of the works of nearly 
every recognized pioneer in computer art 
worldwide. A selection from this internationally 
unique collection will be on display to the 
public for the first time, in a special 
exhibition at Kunsthalle Bremen in June 2007. 
Also, Karlsruhe's ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und 
Medientechnologie (center for art and media 
technology) will show again his "Hommage à E.M.", 
a multimedia performance for a dancer and an 
interactive picture designer, first enacted in 

Venues and topics:

Berlin, Archenhold-Sternwarte:
"Mankind - accident, coincidence or purpose of nature?"

Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen:
"The human being - an automaton: the self, the emotion and the art."

Karlsruhe, ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie:
"The universal roller coaster - within the net of illusion."

Dresden, T-Systems Multimedia Solutions:
"Man playing God - learning automata are advancing fast."

Vienna, Künstlerhaus Wien:
"Leonardo digital - art between logic and emotion."

Munich, Akademie der Bildenden Künste:
"God does play dice! Coincidence and necessity in universe."

Another highlight will be the world premiere of a 
puppet play in the Marionettentheater (string 
puppet theatre) in Bad Toelz (Southern Bavaria) 
in early summer 2007. The play script by Herbert 
W. Franke "The Crystal Planet" will be staged by 
Albert Maly-Motta and Karl-Heinz Bille, who are 
both renowned artists of puppet making and 
puppeteering. This will probably be not only the 
first puppet play whose plot is set in the 
future, but it will also combine for the first 
time traditional stage effects with the most 
advanced puppeteering technology. Together with 
established animation techniques very special 
micro-animation and computer animation techniques 
will be applied.

Professor Herbert W. Franke, honorary editor of 
"Leonardo" for quite some years, has already 
started to generate works of art using computers 
in the Fifties. A physics PhD, he was fascinated 
by the possibilities of machine-supported 
graphical creation. At the same time he gave much 
attention, right from the start, to aspects of 
information and reception theory that are 
relevant in the borderland of art and science. 
This is how he made an important scientific 
contribution to the understanding of the 
aesthetic mechanisms. In addition, Mr. Franke 
ranges among the most renowned German-speaking 
authors of utopian literature and has acquired 
great merits in the field of cave and karst 

For more information on Herbert W. Franke please see:

Events and venues can be found under the web address:

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