Synthetics

Aspects of the history of Electronic Art

In which I discuss many of the technologies and conceptual constructs upon which contemporary electronic art is based.

by

Stephen Jones
Published by Stephen Jones and Associates P/L
Sydney, NSW.
2018

The production of art and images, music and text, interactive performance and installation using contemporary computing technologies; flat-screen or CRT video monitors, complex operating systems, networks, digital signal processing, etc, etc, though intensely modern, have surprisingly deep roots in Western culture and technological development. Some of them, particularly the number systems and technologies of image making, even go back into the ancient cultures of China, India and the Arab world.

Contents:

Incunabula of Computing and Computer Graphics
On the technological and creative background of contemporary computing and computer graphics.

The Electric Telegraph
In which I discuss the beginnings of data transmission.

Facsimile and the Transmission of Images
In which I discuss the production and transmission of images by electro-mechanical means.

Calculating Machines
Here I discuss Mechanical Calculating Machines.

Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine
On the first Computing Machine.

The Cathode Ray Tube
On the development of an electronic display device that led to television.

Electronic Imaging begins
On the Television and and CRT display in electronic imaging.

The first electronic Digital Computers
On the British developments drawn from WWII decryption work by Turing.
Colossus and the Manchester “Baby”.

Australia’s first Computers – CSIRAC
The CSIRO’s computer designed by Trevor Pearcey and commissioned in 1951.

Australia’s first Computers – SILLIAC
Built in the Physics Department, University of Sydney

The beginnings of Computer Graphics in Australia
On the use of printers and plotters to produce computer graphics

Data Visualisation and Computer Graphics
The next stage in the development of computer graphics

 
Computer art and the PDP-8
Doug Richardson and the first Artist’s computer graphics system

 

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