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Tribute to
Herbert W. Franke
In Honor of the Dinosaur of Computer Art
by art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke

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Josef Linschinger

SUDOKU 29 03 22 – Tribute to Herbert W. Franke, three-piece, digital print on acrylic glass, 95 x 95 cm, 2022

Inspiring Visionary

I first met Herbert W. Franke in 1986 at the symposium BILDER DIGITAL in the Galerie der Künstler in Munich. Since that time, I have had several inspiring encounters with him. Through Herbert W. Franke’s participation in the international Gmundner Symposium of Concrete Art, entitled FOTOGRAFIE KONKRET, which I organized in 2006, I got to know and appreciate him more closely. He did not see computer art as an isolated phenomenon of art, but always drew the currents of Concrete Art, Generative Photography, and Op Art into his theoretical considerations. Although I myself do not use the computer as a tool to a great extent in my own work as an artist, there were fundamental thoughts about the nature of art and the activity of the artist that we shared.

My contribution to the Tribute to Herbert W. Franke is the “SUDOKU 29 03 22”, which contains important dates for me: The date of our last meeting was March 29, 2022, the opening of his exhibition “Visionary” at the Francisco Carolinum in Linz, a magnificent exhibition celebrating his 95th birthday. On the occasion of this topicality, I took from my daily newspaper on this day a Sudoku by Dipl.-Ing. Philipp Huebner from Vienna. As in Franke’s works, the computer and the programs developed for it play an important role in the development and design of the Sudokus. My concept is to color-code the Sudoku of a day that is significant for me, determined by chance. The coded task of the number puzzle is on a black background, and its solution part is on a white background. The middle picture combines both parts of the colored solved puzzle.

With the “SUDOKU 29 03 22,” I’d like to honor and remember Herbert W. Franke, the visionary, computer artist, writer, and lovable colleague. He not only inspired me in my work with computers, but was a major pioneer in developing the entire geometric-algorithmic art form for seven decades into the 21st century.


Josef Linschinger was born 1945 in Gmunden, Austria; 1970-75 studies at the Linz School of Design; from 1975 teaching at the Linz School of Design and the Linz Art University; since 1977 works of constructive/concrete art; since 1987 works of visual/conceptual poetry; 1989-2009 organization of the Gmunden Symposia for Concrete Art; 1998 Culture Medal of the City of Gmunden; 2001 Japan Scholarship of the Austrian Federal Chancellery; 2009 Culture Medal of the Province of Upper Austria; 2015 Upper Austrian. Landeskulturpreis for Visual Arts.