Louise Foo

Looking for the Future in the Past

Looking for the future in the past, is an installation piece, using found computer graphics from the past, to create systems for musical composition created with code, as well as telling a personal story of discovering early digital works of art


Printing Code,Project Development Studio (Marina Zurkow),The Nature of Code Studio

Working in the field of art and technology, my mother recently told me that my grandfather Peter Bording, whom I unfortunately never met, worked with computer generated graphics in collaboration with artist Anders Tinsbo in the late 60’s, which is super early in the history of digital art. The first two exhibitions of computer art were held in 1965 - Generative Computergrafik, February 1965, at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, and Computer-Generated Pictures, April 1965, at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York.

At first she told me that none of his work had survived and I was so sad that I couldn’t get to see what it looked like, but then few months ago my mother found an invitation to a reception my grandfather and Tinsbo held, to celebrate that they won the first and second prize in a computer graphics competition in 1972 and on the invitation was an image of the graphics. Later I found a book about the artist Anders Tinsbo with more examples of graphics. What was this competition? Was my grandfather’s work considered art works? Who else worked in this field?

The invitation became an invitation to further investigate my grandfather’s work and other early experiments with computer art in Denmark and in the rest of the world. I have been interested in collecting stories, memories and documentation of early digital artwork, with a focus on Denmark as a start. While researching I haven been doing work of my own that relates to what I find on my way. For the show, I've appropriated six found computer generated drawings, and am using them as framework for a musical composition, where each drawing becomes an "instrument" with a function in the composition. Besides from showing this piece, I will be displaying my research and found documents, memories, photos that tell the story of those pioneering experiences with creating digital art in a museum style display.