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From numerical analysis to open creativity

Artists, engineers, architects and computer developers pioneered the automatic generation of plastic forms between 1965 and 1982

The Office of the Vice President for Culture, Sports & Language Policies of the UA opens a new exhibition that starts the cultural programme this semester. The exhibition "The Computing Centre of the University of Madrid (1965-1982). From numerical analysis to the open creativity" comes to the MUA thanks to an agreement between the University of Alicante, the Complutense University of Madrid, the Public University of Navarre, the Universitat Politècnica de València, and also Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and the Campus of International Excellence of Moncloa. On Thursday, January 31, at 12:00 the president of the UA, Manuel Palomar, opened this exhibition in the Hall "El Cub" of the MUA and will be open until March 20.

The Computing Centre presents an interesting reflection of the work carried out by artists, engineers, architects and computer developers in the automatic creation of plastic forms in the Computing Centre of the University of Madrid (The Complutense University nowadays). These experiences pioneered the so-called Net-art. The exhibition examines and reflects on the influences that this institution had in the research, teaching, and incorporation of computers in later Spanish art.

After first contacts were initiated in 1965, The Computing Centre was established in 1966, following an agreement signed between the University of Madrid and IBM, and was officially opened in 1969. The electronic equipment handed over by this company was composed of a calculator IBM 7090 with reading ability of 250 cards per minute, a calculator IBM 1401, a printer capable of printing 600 lines per minute and ancillary equipment. Besides the calculation service for university departments, several seminars were created to investigate the use of new techniques for automatic calculation applied at, among other disciplines, linguistics, architecture, education and art. Numerous works of art emerged from this experiment and The Computer Center presents an exhibition tour with works by the artists Jose Luis Alexanco, Manuel Barbadillo, Manuel Calvo Abad, Gerardo Delgado, Sword and Santacruz Studio, Tomás García Asensio, José Luis Gómez Perales, Lily Grenham, Manuel Moan, Yturralde Mead, Luis Lugán, Abel Martín, Jaime Munarriz, Enrique Salamanca, Eusebio Sempere, Soledad Sevilla, and the couple Javier de la Riva and Ana Buenaventura.

In addition to this work, the exhibition in Alicante includes the “Ars Citerior” Collection, specialized in Spanish geometric painting, a cession that has been managed by the staff of the MUA.

At the same time, and according to the philosophy of the MUA, a programme of integrated activities around the exhibition has been designed, in collaboration with the Polytechnic School of the UA. On February 19, the students of the workshop of multimedia creation of the Polytechnich University College will present their multimedia engineering works and they will remain exhibited in the MUA until March 20. The programme includes a Cinema and Computer Season with a screening of four films in original version: Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tron and WarGames. Entry is limited to the capacity of the Multipurpose Room (Sala Polivalente) of the MUA, February 25, 26, 27 and 28 at 11.30. Finally, José Manuel Inésta, will offer a Workshop on music composition with computers, March 14 from 11:00 to 13:00 in the MUA.

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante


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