Recreating the Past is a personal project inspired by a course taught by Zach Lieberman at The School for Poetic Computation. The goal is to explore the works of computer artists of the past and recreate them, mostly using p5.js. I will be documenting my progress here to encourage myself and hopefully to educate or inspire others to make beautiful art with electricity!


Vera Molnar

Vera Molnar (b. 1924) is a French artist who is considered a pioneer of computer art. She began painting in an abstract geometric style in 1947 at the School of Visual Art in Budapest and in the 60's began to use basic computers to create her works. Molnar has said that the computer can serve four purposes in art. The first is its technical ability to provide infinite forms and colors. Second, it can take to burden of artistic innovation from the artist, and can through accidents or random processes create what will shock even the artist controlling it. Third, the computer can allow the artist to explore their work in new ways. They can store images and ideas that can later be revisited and changed. Finally, computers can be used to measure audience response to works. Their eye patterns, for example, can be tracked.

"I would like to acknowledge my favorites, Russian Avant-garde, Futurism and Bauhaus, whose brilliant typefaces and designs have in many ways shaped my own mind. If the artists of these movements were alive now to work with computers, I am certain they would discover new artistic possibilities. The work of past ages accumulates, and is remade again." - Osamu Sato

"Two phases of the graphic computer will evolve. Phase 1: tools that emulate production tools of old media with greater speed, economy, flexibility and interaction, and Phase 2: Professional tools in the hands of non-professionals will change traditional professional practices and patterns of design and production. - Muriel Cooper