The German Informatics Society (GI) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation have awarded the inaugural Klaus Tschira Medal to Frieder Nake.

GI President, Prof. Dr. Hannes Federrath, said Nake is an outstanding scientist who researched and documented the interactions between computer science and artistic and socio-political processes in a timely and sustainable manner.

The Klaus Tschira medal honours a personality for special services to the use and further development of computer science methods in various fields of application.

“Frieder Nake is appreciated worldwide as one of the pioneers of computer art,” said Hannes. “While still a student, he made his first attempts to create artistic drawings with the help of the computer-controlled drawing table “Graphomat” developed by Konrad Zuse. In 1965, together with other pioneers in this field, he organized one of the world’s first exhibitions of computer art.

“Early on, Frieder Nake complained that the discussion about the use of computers in art was going in the wrong direction. Since the early 1970s, he has been concerned with the significance of the central concept of computer science, the algorithm, for the handling of information and its repercussions on the various aspects of scientific and social life. Frieder Nake is a mediator between the various fields of science with a critical attitude towards the unreflected handling of information technology.”

Beate Spiegel, Managing Director of the Klaus Tschira Foundation said, “Klaus Tschira was himself a physicist, but computer science was one of his great passions. He was particularly interested in the interfaces between the various disciplines. The combination of computer science and art, as Frieder Nake does, would certainly have fascinated Klaus Tschira.”