Coding to Create Art in 1975


Presentation Title:

  • Coding to Create Art in 1975



  • Keywords: Computer Aided Drawing, Computational Drawing, FORTRAN Programming Language, CalComp Pen Plotter, CalComp Subroutines.

    Early computer aided drawings were created in 1975 using Fortran, CalComp subroutines and a CalComp Pen Plotter. The gesture of making a mark was envisioned and experienced through the mathematics, the code and the drawing process. Making an image of something normally invisible to the human eye, came to fruition through this process. Wind gusts blowing against one’s face, and light waves reflecting off of irregular surfaces were ‘imprinted’ on paper through the digital process. I incorporated mathematical formulas that described invisible phenomena from the natural world, into Fortran programs. In order to create drawings from this code, I integrated CalComp subroutines into the programs to implement instructions for the pen plotter. My intention to create expressive drawings using the computer and pen plotter in 1975 disrupted the normal studio practice at that time. As my hand was not holding the pen, or the brush as it moved across an artist’s canvas, there was early skepticism about the expressiveness and the craft of this process. I had an intimate relationship with the programs I developed and thus created very expressive drawings.

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