Manfred Mohr

P-32. Matrix Elements


Artist / Artist group
Manfred Mohr
P-32. Matrix Elements
Edition / Serial number
Copy Number
computer-generated, drawing, print, Plotter drawing
Material / Technique
computer-generated drawing; heliography after to plotter drawing; computer: CDC 7600, programming language: FORTRAN; edition: Benson-Plotter
Dimensions / Duration
39,5 x 39,5 cm, motive: 37 x 37 cm
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Manfred Mohr is recognized as a pioneer of digital algorithmic art. Inspired by the writings of philosopher Max Bense, his artistic path in the 1960s led him from Tachism to using computing technology. In 1969, Mohr programmed his first computer drawings. He defined a class of images by means of an algorithm. The algorithm contains variables, so that with the aid of a pseudo-random procedure a multitude of image variants can be generated. The artist’s work focuses on the mathematical definition of a space of possibilities, and leaves the execution to the machines — the computer and the plotter.

P-32. Matrix Elements from 1970 is one of Mohr’s early programmed works. The collotype (heliography), derived from a plotter drawing, shows 16 squares against a brown-red background. Each square consists of forty white lines. The top line of the 5 × 5 cm squares is formed by three to twelve randomly generated dots that are connected to each other. The lines below are calculated in such a way that the curvatures decrease steadily down to the lowest fortieth straight line.

Author: Lara Merz

About the artist/s