Herbert W. Franke

Portrait by Herbert W. Franke
Year of birth, place
1927, Vienna, Austria
Year of death, place
2022, Puppling, Germany
Role at the ZKM
Artist of the Collection, Artist of the archive
Biography

Herbert W. Franke studied physics, mathematics, and chemical science at the Technische Hochschule Wien, Vienna (1945–1950, Ph.D. 1950). During this period he also attended classes in psychology and philosophy. After leaving university he worked on a research project for the Technische Hochschule Wien and in the advertising and press department at Siemens in Erlangen (1952–1957). Since 1957, he worked as a freelance author and published over 40 monographs on scientific and experimental photography, visual perception, cybernetics, the relations of arts and sciences, and speleology. He also published over twenty science fiction novels and a large number of radio features. In 1956, he produced first electronic images with an analog device, which was constructed by his friend Dr. Franz Raimann. From 1969 he produced digital computer graphics. He taught at the University of Munich (1973–1997), at the Fachhochschule Bielefeld (1979–1980), and at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, Munich (1984–1998). 1979 co-founder of Ars Electronica. He lives in Egling, DE.

Exhib.: 1959, »Experimentelle Ästhetik«, Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. 1968, »Kunst aus dem Computer«, accompanying the symposium “Der Computer in der Universität,” Technische Universität Berlin. 1969, »Computer-Kunst. On the Eve of Tomorrow«, Kubus, Hannover.

Lit.: H. W. F., »Der grüne Komet«, Munich, 1960. H. W. F., »Phänomen Kunst«, Munich, 1967. H. W. F., H. W. F., »Computergraphik – Computerkunst«, Munich, 1971.

[2010]

 

  Extensive Biography

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Born on 14 May 1927 in Vienna, Herbert W. Franke studied physics, mathematics, chemistry, psychology and philosophy at the University of Vienna and the then Technical University in Vienna; graduated as Dr. phil.

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. phil.

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From 1955 on, creation of images using photography and electronic devices.

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Theoretical and practical activity in speleology. Participation in expeditions to unknown routes. Theoretical work on the dating of dripstone and on the morphology of cave sediment.

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Freelance writer since 1957. Non-fiction and technical books, novels, short stories, radio plays. Special field: utopia and futurology as well as relations between art, science and technology.

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Working on cybernetic aesthetics. Consulting editor of the magazine »Leonardo«.

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From 1973 to 1998, lecturer in computer graphics and art at the University and Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

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1979, co-founder of the »ars electronica« in Linz/Donau.

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1980,  awarded the professional title of professor by the Austrian Ministry of Education and the Arts.

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1987, Computer Art Prize of the Association of German Software Manufacturers.

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1992, Karl-Theodor-Vogel-Preis für Technikjournalismus, multiple prizes for the best German-language novel of the future of the year.

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2002, Dr. Benno Wolf Prize for services to speleology.

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In 2007, he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art I. Class by the Austrian Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture.

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In the same year, he was made an honorary member by the Computer Arts Society CAS in London for his services to computer art.

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In 2009, he was appointed Senior Fellow by the Zuse Institute Berlin, which is supported by the Berlin universities.

 
- In 2010, the ZKM dedicated a comprehensive solo exhibition to Herbert W. Franke entitled "Wanderer between the Worlds", curated by Susanne Päch and Bernhard Serexhe
- In 2017, Herbert W. Franke donates his archive to the ZKM with the task of preserving it in the long term for research and the public and making it accessible.
- In 2018, the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) Karlsruhe awards Herbert W. Franke an honorary doctorate.  
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 Appointed member of the German PEN and the Graz Authors' Assembly.

 

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Appointed member of the DGPh and Künstlerhaus Wien, honorary member of ISEA.

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