Abstract- Music: The First Digital Art

The early period of computers arts, from the mainframes of the 1950s through the first microcomputers during the late-1970s, has been understood as a period of attempts and possibilities rather than achievements. The perceived lack of artistic sophistication has been rationalized through shifting relations between engineers and artists, engineering and the arts. From the perspective of the arts, by using the criterion that the sophistication of works should be gauged according to contemporaneous discourses in the arts, certain works within computer literature and music can be understood as achievements, due to the technical capability of manipulating the comparatively simple elements of literary text and musical sound as historically received respectively in formalist and experimental literature and electronic music. Music can be called the first digital art because, whereas early computer music relied on the computer literary works could be realized using other means. However, artistic developments were influenced more significantly by the institutional and social settings of computation, from the "closed world" of military- and intelligence-driven scientific and technological research and development arising from Cold War exigencies, to the new left, counter-culture, hobby and hip capitalism environments of 1970s microcomputing.