Digital Art Museum
A. Michael NOLL    


Though never primarily an artist, Noll's artistic experiments in the 1960s anticipated the aesthetic enquiry and working methods of many of the digital art pioneers. (For example the hypercube sequence demonstrates the basis of almost all of Manfred Mohr's later work.)

The significance of these early computer animations is shown by their presence at MOMA and also the Academy of Motion Pictures and prints of two early works are at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Fisher Gallery at University of San Francisco California.

The animations were recorded on a microfilm printer on 35 mm or 16 mm film.


This is an archive of the Digital Art Museum for historical reference.
See for the current site.




Ninety Parallel Sinusoids With Linearly Increasing Period
early 1960s

The top sinusoid was expressed mathematically and then repeated again and again. The result closely approximates the op-art painting Current by Bridget Riley.


Gaussian Quadratic
© AMN 1965 1962

Ninety-nine lines connect 100 points whose horizontal coordinates are Gaussian. Vertical coordinates increase according to a quadratic equation. As a point reaches the top, it is reflected to the bottom to continue its rise. The exact proportions of this pattern were chosen from many other examples. This particular proportion is vaguely similar to the painting Ma Jolie by Picasso.




Computer Composition With Lines

This work closely mimics the painting Composition With Lines by Piet Mondrian. When reproductions of both works were shown to 100 people, the majority preferred the computer version and believed it was done by Mondrian. This early investigation of the aesthetics of computer art has become a classic and is described in the published paper by A. Michael Noll, "Human or Machine: A Subjective Comparison of Piet Mondrian's Composition with Lines and a Computer-Generated Picture," The Psychological Record, Vol. 16. No. 1, (January 1966), pp. 1-10.


Four computer-generated random patterns based on the composition crieria of Mondrian's Composition With Lines




Selected frames from movie of the three-dimensional projection of a rotating four-dimensional hypercube.


Selected frames from a computer-generated three-dimensional movie of a randomly changing random object or a new form of "kinetic sculpture."