University of Stuttgart
23 June 1926 (age 89)
3 January 2016 (aged 89)
Georg nees im zkm
Georg Nees (23 June 1926 – 3 January 2016) was a German academic who was a pioneer of computer art and generative graphics. He studied mathematics, physics and philosophy in Erlangen and Stuttgart and was scientific advisor at the SEMIOSIS, International Journal of semiotics and aesthetics. In 1977, he was appointed Honorary Professor of Applied computer science at the University of Erlangen Nees is one of the "3N" computer pioneers, an abbreviation that has become acknowledged for Frieder Nake, Georg Nees and A. Michael Noll, whose computer graphics were created with digital computers.
- Georg nees im zkm
- Algorithmische Kunst erklrt am Beispiel von Georg Nees
- Early life and studies
- Computer Art
- Computer designed architecture
- From 1985 on
- Solo exhibition
- Group exhibitions
- Modern generative graphic design
Algorithmische Kunst erklärt - am Beispiel von Georg Nees
Early life and studies
George Nees was born in 1926 in Nuremberg, where he spent his childhood. He showed scientific curiosity and interest in art from a young age and among his favorite pastimes were viewing art postcards and looking through a microscope. He attended a school in Schwabach near Nuremberg, graduating in 1945. From 1945 to 1951, he studied mathematics and physics at the University of Erlangen then worked as an industry mathematician for the Siemens Schuckertwerk in Erlangen from 1951 to 1985. There he started to write his first programs in 1959. The company was later incorporated into the Siemens AG.
From 1964 onwards, he studied philosophy at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart (since 1967 the University of Stuttgart), under Max Bense. He received his doctorate with his thesis on Generative Computergraphik under Max Bense in 1969. His work is considered one of the first theses on Generative Computer Graphics. In 1969, his thesis was published as a book entitled "Generative Computergraphik" and also included examples of program code and graphics produced thereby. After his retirement in 1985 Nees worked as an author and in the field of computer art.
In February 1965, Nees showed - as works of art - the world's first computer graphics created with a digital computer. The exhibition, titled computer graphik took place at the public premises of the "Study Gallery of Stuttgart College". In 1966, he started to work on "computer-sculptures". In the catalog of the Biennale 1969 Nuremberg, Nees describes how the computer program controlled the milling machine so that instead of a workpiece, a sculpture was created. Three painted wooden sculptures and several graphics were shown at the Biennale 1969 Nuremberg. In 1970 at the 35th Venice Biennale his work was part of the special exhibition "Research and Design. Proposals for an experimental exposure" and showcased his sculptures and graphics of art and architectural design.
In 1963, Nees was instrumental in the purchase of a flatbed plotter, the Zuse Graphomat Z64 designed by Konrad Zuse, for the data center at the Schuckertwerke in Erlangen. At the exhibition Georg Nees – The Great Temptation at the ZKM Nees said: ″There it was, the great temptation for me, for once not to represent something technical with this machine but rather something ‘useless’ – geometrical patterns.″
Using the ALGOL language, Nees created drawings and graphics for production, art and architectural drawings. He wrote the new graphics libraries G1, G2 and G3 with ALGOL, for controlling the Z64 and random number generation. In 1965 Nees experimented with random numbers and circle arcs (Kreisbögen). The graphic Kreisbogengewirre (Arc confusion) was a graphic of this series, also known as Locken. Frieder Nake explains how this graphic was created: ″In fact, the picture does consist of one continuous path of arcs. … The length and radius of the individual arcs are randomly chosen within the limits defined by the programmer … The picture in it present form is due to a fairly serious programming error … It was designed to be less complex and it had to be ended manually because of the error.″
Nees worked with the Siemens System 2002 to create aesthetic graphics, such as the graphic ″gravel ″ (Schotter) in 1968. This artwork is well known and can be seen on the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. When writing the program Nees introduced commands for random numbers, which produced from a designated point on the resulting chaos. This causes the graphic to develop from order to disorder or vice versa, if the graphic is turned through 180 degrees (upside down).
Robert J. Krawczyk wrote in his text A Shattered Perfection: Crafting a Virtual Sculpture: ″Georg Nees’s Gravel Stones … What attracted me to this piece was the simplicity of the concept and the overall interpretation of transforming order into disorder. … What intrigues me with this "ancient" piece was the use of exact mathematical computations to model a chaotic image and the progression from the ordered to the disordered.″
Computer designed architecture
The first computer graphic produced in architecture by Nees was the motive corridor (Flur) in 1968. In 1968 started his collaboration with the architect Ludwig Rase for the Siemens Pavilion at the Hannover Industrial Fair in 1970. The drawings of the truss roof was first calculated with the System 2002 and drawn with the Graphomat Z64. For the Hannover fair in 1970 they drawings were created with the modern System 4004 again. One of the drawings was printed as a poster for the Hannover Fair and for the 35th Venice Biennale in 1970. There were also computer drawings for fair pavilions of the Siemens AG, such as the "German Industry Exhibition" in São Paulo in 1971.
Ludwig Rase experimented based on the cuboctahedron for residential dwellings and urban design with Nees creating the computer aided design plans for the project. The graphic "Cuboctahedron" developed during this was used for the cover and poster of the exhibition Computer art. nees rase in the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1972.
From 1985 on
Nees retired in 1985 and started his research and experiments again. He devoted his time solely to semiotics and aesthetics for media and design. He published the results from 1995 onwards in several books and articles.
In 1985, Alex Kempkens asked Nees whether he wished to participate in the exhibition Bilder Images Digital in the ″Gallery of the Artist″ in Munich, which was planned for October 1986. He said yes and created a new series of computer graphics. These graphics have a special position within the oeuvre by Nees. To generate the graphics he gave the AI engine simple, philosophical as well as mythical commands. Based on the commands, the computer produced different graphics. He wrote the programs in the Lisp language and a System 7000 calculated the graphics. Nees wrote in the exhibition catalog:
My own computer graphics in the spring of 1986, I understand as studies on ambience, as they could be synthesized by perhaps a future Reagiblen machines. An essential part task in the design of such machines is thinking out sample dialogues, which one would like to perform with the finished instrument. The following dialog could then be feasible: ″Show me a sphere.″ The automaton would respond with the production of the image ″sphere north-west-nadir.″ The dialog would continue with ″Add on the context, myth; visualize the contrast between law and coincidence.″; The response would be the image, ″Apollo and Dionysius″.
The art critic Eva Karcher wrote in the interpretation of his graphics:
The automaton as >creativity stimulant<? A mental concept which one can only consider cautiously and which however can call in question all the hitherto binding definitions of the inviolability of the human creative capacity.Looking at the multi-patterned constructions in Nees' graphics, with their floating ellipsoids, crystalloid spheres and bizarre forms, one cannot help but acknowledge and appreciate their atmospheric and inspiration-inducing effects.
Nees died on 3 January 2016 at the age of 89.
Apoll und Dionysos.
Modern generative graphic design
Georg Nees was not only a pioneer of computer art, but also one of the grandfathers of computer supported design processes – the Generative Design. In 1963, the Zuse Graphomat Z64 was used to draw technical plans, which are required for the manufacture of parts and products. As he said, he thought also of his ideas - to make experimental and generative design. The reason for him to write the book "Formel - Farbe - Form", 1995, was to convey his knowledge about "Computer aesthetics of Media and Design" - based on generative design - to the next generation of designers. The current generation of designers uses as professional title for example "generative design" and operates under the concept of generative Design, data driven art or computational design. Nees also makes it one of the progenitors of today's generative design for art, advertising and animation – based on his Ph.D. thesis Generative Computergraphik and the book Generative Computergraphik in 1969.