Photo and Palette: Early Pixel-Based Computer Art
From 1980 until 1984, computer artist Aldo Giorgini (1934-1994) experimented with Tektronix 4027, an early raster-based computer graphics terminal . Giorgini complemented the Tektronix with his codes to render ‘quasi-photographic’ images. Palettes and patterns with colors were superimposed on the surfaces of wireframe structures to produce abstract art. Photo was used as a software framework to produce a hybrid between realistic and abstract art. He also developed a program called Palette in order to produce the color palettes and patterns that were rendered in the polygons produced by Photo. The resulting images took into account three- dimensional concepts such as perspective, light sources and color. His artwork produced with Tektronix was awarded by the German Computer Graphics and Computer Art Society in 1982 for his work Corten Steel. Although it was a struggle to produce large scale image outputs, Giorgini photographed them on Kodakcrome slides for enlargement and reproduction. Recently, images and manuscripts documenting Photo and Palette have been uncovered at Aldo Giorgini’s estate in Lafayette, Indiana. Through the study of these primary source materials, this paper will explain Giorgini’s innovative use of Tektronix to produce his visual art.
Esteban García Bravo is a Colombian-born artist who researches computer art history and digital media art practices. He earned his MFA from Purdue University in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Computer Graphics Technology, also from Purdue, in 2013. His research has been featured in the annual meetings of international organizations such as SIGGRAPH (2011) and ISEA (2012, 2013), as well as in the publication Leonardo Journal of Art, Sciences and Technology. García has participated in artist-residency programs including Estímulos (Colombia/Venezuela, 2004), Lugar a Dudas (Colombia, 2007) 8550 Ohio (USA, 2013). His hybrid art practice has allowed him to participate in curated art shows and workshops across the globe including Kilómetro-0 Urbano (Bolivia, 2005), the Live Performers Meeting in (Italy, 2011), and the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (Colombia, 2013).