When artists began to explore computers as medium in the 1950’s, technology was limited and the resulting minimalism in expression was a necessity. Half a century later, teams of thousands of programmers work on high-end games and movies, utilising clusters of the fastest computers available. The sight of a green cathode ray tube display once signalled the promise of an exciting future, now it is nostalgic.
The CBM8032AV project is an exploration of the beauty of simple graphics and sound, using outdated technology from the early 1980’s. It will run on five original and carefully restored Commodore CBM 8032 computers, operated by the artist on stage during the performance. This work is about the ambivalence between a contemporary aesthetic and the usage of a very limited technology from 40 years ago. Everything presented within the project could have been done already in the 1980s, but it needed the cultural backdrop of 2019 to enliven the artistic ideas driving it.
Work on this project started in 2016, and the result will have its premiere in October this year. This talk is about the motivation for taking on this giant effort, and the technical and conceptual challenges—and beauty behind it.