Walk Through Raster

In 1966, Nake used the Walk-through-Raster software in the ALGOL 60 programming language to create as series of computer-generated drawings on paper. The drawings were produced by a ZUSE-Graphomat Z64.

The program used a repertoire of signs that were placed on a grid. A function selected one sign from the repertoire and another function selected the following sign based on the previous one and applying probability distribution. In this manner, a chain of signs was generated. The second operation of the program consisted in mapping the chain of signs into the cells of the picture plane. The first sign of the chain was put into the top left-most cell of the picture plane. The second sign of the chain was placed into the next cell, and so forth, until all signs had been put into the picture’s cells. This mapping operation was carried out according to a specific mapping mode.

For a more detailed description, read this short essay by Frieder Nake.