Ray Remembers When

Computer Generated Art / ASCII Art

In this case it is printed graphics from about 1975, although the technique used goes back to the days before even teletype writers, when all practical printing was done on drum or one other type printer and/or console typewriters made of IBM Model B or Friden Flexowriters, at 10 characters per second.

The first piece of computer generated art I ever saw was in about 1963 when someone at BNL came up with a copy of a picture of Mona Lisa made by line printer. I don't know who did it originally, probably some grad student at MIT or Bell Labs. Then I saw a whole gallery exhibit at the Eastern Joint Computer Conference in N.Y. in the summer or fall of 1964.

When I first opened the Data Domain we sold a variety of computer generated art, by a variety of artists, done in color and in foil on paper, framed or unframed, some even signed by the artist. Made a lot of money with them too. All the novices who bought their first computer from me bought at least one, and some people bought several. Creative Computing sold the same ones for as long as David Ahl was running it.