Early Days of CGI and Digital Art


TECHNOLOGY - Father of Computer Graphics | Turing Award | Sketchpad | Kyoto Prize

Ivan Edward Sutherland (born May 16, 1938) is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, widely regarded as the "father of computer graphics". His early work in computer graphics as well as his teaching with David C. Evans in that subject at the University of Utah in the 1970s was pioneering in the field. Sutherland, Evans, and their students from that era invented several foundations of modern computer graphics. He received the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1988 for the invention of Sketchpad, an early predecessor to the sort of graphical user interface that has become ubiquitous in personal computers. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as the National Academy of Sciences among many other major awards. In 2012 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology for "pioneering achievements in the development of computer graphics and interactive interfaces".

Sketchpad was the first program ever to utilize a complete Graphical User Interface.

Sketchpad (a.k.a. Robot Draftsman) was a computer program written by Ivan Sutherland in 1963 in the course of his PhD thesis, for which he received the Turing Award in 1988, and the Kyoto Prize in 2012. It pioneered the way for human–computer interaction (HCI).[1] Sketchpad is considered to be the ancestor of modern computer-aided design (CAD) programs as well as a major breakthrough in the development of computer graphics in general. For example, the graphical user interface (GUI) was derived from Sketchpad as well as modern object oriented programming. Ivan Sutherland demonstrated with it that computer graphics could be used for both artistic and technical purposes in addition to showing a novel method of human-computer interaction.

Sutherland was inspired by the Memex from "As We May Think" by Vannevar Bush.

Sketchpad inspired Douglas Engelbart to design and develop oN-Line System at the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) during the 1960s.

The clever way the program organized its geometric data pioneered the use of "master" ("objects") and "occurrences" ("instances") in computing and pointed forward to object oriented programming. The main idea was to have master drawings which one could instantiate into many duplicates. If the user changed the master drawing, all the instances would change as well.

Geometric constraints was another major invention in Sketchpad, letting the user easily constrain geometric properties in the drawing—for instance, the length of a line or the angle between two lines could be fixed.

As a trade magazine said, clearly Sutherland "broke new ground in 3D computer modeling and visual simulation, the basis for computer graphics and CAD/CAM". Very few programs can be called precedents for his achievements. Patrick J. Hanratty is sometimes called the "father of CAD/CAM" and wrote PRONTO, a numerical control language at General Electric in 1957, and wrote CAD software while working for General Motors beginning in 1961. Sutherland wrote in his thesis that Bolt, Beranek and Newman had a "similar program" and T-Square was developed by Peter Samson and one or more fellow MIT students in 1962, both for the PDP-1


FINE ART - Father of Digital Art and Computer Animation | Cranston/Csuri

Charles Csuri became best known for pioneering the field of computer graphics, computer animation and digital fine art, creating his first computer art in 1964. He was described by the Smithsonian as the "father of digital art and computer animation", and as a leading pioneer of computer animation by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group Graphics (ACM SIGGRAPH). Between 1971 and 1987, while a senior professor at Ohio State University, Csuri founded the Computer Graphics Research Group, the Ohio Super Computer Graphics Project, and the Advanced Computing Center for Art and Design, dedicated to the development of digital art and computer animation. Csuri was co-founder of Cranston/Csuri Productions (CCP), one of the world's first computer animation production companies. In 2000 Csuri received both the 2000 Governor's Award for the Arts for the best individual artist, and Ohio State's Sullivant Award, the institution's highest honor, in acknowledgement of his lifetime achievements in the fields of digital art and computer animation. His 2010 exhibit "Beyond Boundaries" was a retrospective of seventy of his works of computer art. The exhibition traveled to museums in Europe and Asia. He was also the founder of Ohio State's research center, the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD).

Notable works by Csuri are: Wondrous Spring (1992), Random War (1967), Homage to the Muse (1990), and Random War Pics (2013), Spinning (1994), A Happy Time (1996), Doddle (2016), Old Age (2016), Despair (2016), and ribFIG (2016).

Sine Curve Man 1967

Wondrous Spring 1992

Featured in Smithsonian, February 1995

Celebration of The Cube 1993

Wondrous Spring 2 1992

Homage to the Muse 1990

Was on Cover of Smithsonian, February 1995



Harold Cohen (1 May 1928 – 27 April 2016) was a British-born artist who was noted as the creator of AARON, a computer program designed to produce art autonomously. His work in the intersection of computer artificial intelligence and art attracted a great deal of attention.

Cohen was a painter growing weary with the traditional practice of art in the late 1960s when he taught himself, out of curiosity, how to program a computer.

Applying his newfound expertise, he invented a computer-programmed drawing machine, whose works he exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1972 in a show called “Three Behaviors for the Partitioning of Space.”

He then spent two years at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the invitation of Edward Feigenbaum, a pioneer in the field, to continue his programming work. Aaron was the result. Mr. Cohen chose the name because he assumed that the program would be followed by a new, “B” version, and so on through the alphabet.

Cohen went to the United States as a visiting lecturer at the University of California, San Diego in 1968, but he was given the rank of professor and stayed on for nearly three decades, part of the time as chairman of the Visual Arts Department. In addition, he served as director of the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts at University of California, San Diego from 1992 to 1998.

After his retirement from UCSD, he continued to work on AARON and produce new artwork in his studio in Encinitas, California.

In 2014, Cohen received the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement award.

Early in 2016 Cohen start a new project with AARON called Fingerpainting for the 21st Century. The artist utilised a touch screen to colour and finish artworks. Before AARON’s images would be outputted in physical form before Cohen made alterations

Computer-generated drawing with hand coloring 1974


Kitty - 1968

In 1968 a group of soviet physicists and mathematicians with N.Konstantinov as its head created a mathematical model for the motion of a cat ("Кошечка" on russian). On a BESM-4 computer they devised a programme for solving the ordinary differential equations for this model. The Computer printed hundreds of frames on paper using alphabet symbols that were latter filmed in sequence thus creating the first computer animation of a character, a walking cat.



Edward Albert "Ed" Feigenbaum (born January 20, 1936) is a computer scientist working in the field of artificial intelligence, and joint winner of the 1994 ACM Turing Award. He is often called the "father of expert systems".

Feigenbaum completed a Fulbright Fellowship at the National Physics Laboratory and in 1960 went to the University of California, Berkeley, to teach in the School of Business Administration. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1965 as one of the founders of its computer science department.[16] He was the director of the Stanford Computation Center from 1965 to 1968. He established the Knowledge Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. Important projects that Ed was involved in include systems in medicine, as ACME, Mycin, SUMEX, and Dendral. He also co-founded companies IntelliCorp and Teknowledge.

Since 2000 Ed Feigenbaum is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University. His former doctoral students include Peter Karp, Niklaus Wirth, and Alon Halevy.

Honors and awards

  • 1984: Selected as one the initial fellows of the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI)

  • 1994: Turing Award jointly with Raj Reddy for "pioneering the design and construction of large scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence technology".

  • 1997: U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award

  • 2007: Inducted as fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

  • 2011: IEEE Intelligent Systems AI's Hall of Fame for "significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems".

  • 2012. Made fellow of the Computer History Museum "for his pioneering work in artificial intelligence and expert systems."

  • 2013. IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award for "pioneering work in Artificial Intelligence, including development of the basic principles and methods of knowledge-based systems and their practical applications".


Frieder Nake (born December 16, 1938 in Stuttgart, Germany) is a mathematician, computer scientist, and pioneer of computer art. He is best known internationally for his contributions to the earliest manifestations of computer art, a field of computing that made its first public appearances with three small exhibitions in 1965.

Hommage à Paul Klee 13/9/65 Nr.2' 1965


Manfred Mohr started his career as an action painter and jazz musician. He began using a computer in 1969 because of a growing interest in creating algorithmic art. He lived in Barcelona in 1962 and in Paris between 1963 and 1983.

His early computer works are algorithmic and based on his former drawings with a strong attitude on rhythm and repetition. In 1990 he was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica (Golden Nica) at Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria. He maintained an art studio in Paris from 1963 to 1983. Mohr attended Kunst + Werkschule in Pforzheim and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

In 1968 he co-founded the seminar "Art et Informatique" at the University of Vincennes and in May 1971 had a solo exhibit at ARC - Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.[2] Since then, that exhibition has become known historically as the first solo show in a museum of works entirely calculated and drawn by a computer.


Paul Brown began exploring the intersections between art, science and technology in the 1960s. He first encountered computers as a creative medium after seeing the groundbreaking exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, in 1968 . Brown’s work is located in an area of computational science called cellular automata (CAs) – simple systems that can propagate themselves over time. CAs are part of the origins of the discipline known as artificial life, of which Brown is considered an innovator. It was during Brown's postgraduate research at the Slade School of Art, from 1977 to 1979, that he experimented with generative systems that would later become known as artificial life or “A Life”. The Slade was a forerunner within the context of art education concerning the development of digital art. Brown’s ideas were shared by other trailblazers who affiliated themselves with the school during this time, including Chris Briscoe, Harold Cohen, Malcolm Hughes and Edward Ihnatowicz. Throughout his career, Brown has examined CAs and their relationship to tiling and symmetry systems, and it is the emergent properties that result from the execution of these computer programs that comprise the final artwork. As Brown's compositions reveal, the artistry is not coded intentionally within the program, but, rather, is something that emerges autonomously as the technology is implemented.