Herbert W. Franke is a physicist, science fiction writer, artist, curator, author of theoretical books and essays, and speleologist (cave researcher). Of interest in the current context are his contributions to digital art. He started this work in the mid-1950s when he used oscilloscope and camera to generate patterns of groups of continuous lines (“analog” graphics). He first exhibited these in 1956, only a few years after Ben F. Laposky had experimented in a similar way.
Soon after first algorithmicly generated graphics had been exhibited in galleries in Stuttgart and New York (in 1965), Franke became interested in digital technology. He published the first comprehensive history of computer art in 1971 (Computergrafik – Computerkunst. München: Bruckmann, later by Springer Verlag, there also an English translation). Franke has written innumerable essays on computer art and related subjects. He has organized numerous exhibitions, and lectured worldwide on the subject. Since the early 1970s, he has contributed a comprehensive work of digital art. Some of his programs were written in collaboration with others.
Franke’s oeuvre finds its place in the cross-over of scientific and artistic methods. His two collections of works found their new home at Kunsthalle Bremen.