Ken Knowlton

BELFLIX

BEFLIX

 

Materials:

ASCII codes

Technology:

Kenneth Knowlton is a computer graphics pioneer, artist, mosaicist and portraitist, who worked at Bell Labs. In 1963, Knowlton developed the BEFLIX (Bell Flicks) programming language for bitmap computer-produced movies, created using an IBM 7094 computer and a Stromberg-Carlson 4020 microfilm recorder. Each frame contained eight shades of grey and a resolution of 252 x 184. In 1966, Knowlton and Leon Harmon were experimenting with photomosaic, creating large prints from collections small symbols or images.

Effect:

In Studies in Perception I they created an image of a reclining nude (the dancer Deborah Hay), by scanning a photograph with a camera and converting the analog voltages to binary numbers which were assigned typographic symbols based on halftone densities. It was printed in The New York Times on 11 October 1967, and exhibited at one of the earliest computer art exhibitions, The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, held Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1968.

 

 

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