Early Digital Art and Writing

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Decades before digital art and writing became widely transmitted and accessed online, pioneers in these expressive fields relied predominantly on sponsored exhibitions of their work. Prior to the emergence of the World Wide Web (WWW), computer-based practitioners desiring to share their compositions - and audiences interested in these contemporary developments - depended on a small number of sympathetic museums and galleries that promoted such innovations. In the 1960s and early 1970s, these exhibits tended to unite experiments produced by both digital writers and artists. Gradually, as electronic arts expanded in a way that digital writing would not until the proliferation of personal computing and global networks in the 1990s, subsequent exhibitions in the 1970s and 1980s predominantly featured graphical rather than language-oriented works. The arts, historically familiar with formal shifts in media in ways that literature was not, quickly responded to the calling of computerized machinery; writers more gradually adapted to digital possibilities.

(Source: Author's introduction)

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Thor Baukhol Madsen