Abraham André Moles


Portrait Abraham Moles

Born 1920 in Paris, France.
Died 1992 in Strasbourg, France.

Abraham A. Moles was an electrical engineer, sociologist and philosopher, who held two doctorates, one in Physics and one in Philosophy. As he was specialized in electroacoustics he worked for the “Laboratoire d’acoustique et de vibrations” [Laboratory of Acoustics and Vibrations] of the “Centre national de la rechereche scientifique” [National Center for Scientific Research] (CNRS) in Marseille. He taught Sociology and Psychology at the Universities of Ulm, Strasbourg, San Diego, Mexico, Compiègne. He was the founder of the Institute of Social Psychology of Communication in Strasbourg.

Moles still is known for his work in Information Aesthetics, as he is one of its pioneers. He developed his ideas in the 1950s, at the time that Bense worked on this topic in Germany. His ideas were strongly influenced by Cybernetics. “In this way, he combined the cybernetic system theory with communication aesthetics, as seen, for example, in his publications: “Théorie de l’information et perception esthétique” (Information Theory and Aesthetic Consciousness, 1958) and “Art and Computer” (1973).” [MediaArtNet, 2004] Different from Bense’s ideas, Moles’ Information Aesthetics took off from the observer and therefore contained also subjective measures.

“Moles (…) has provided a very exhaustive exposition of the possible role of this theory in the analysis of aesthetic phenomena: The essential contribution of information theory to aesthetics is the interpretation of the Gestalt phenomenon, and this interpretation is purely mechanical, that is to say, arbitrary. However, a method emerges from this. This method could be defined as a method of structuring, as a method of simulation.” [Rosen, 2011]

Member of institution(s): The Ulm School of Design
Exhibitions organized: Tendencies 4 (1968/69)

1958 Another work of central significance to Information Aesthetics was presented when physicist and philosopher Abraham A Moles (1920 – 1992) published “Théorie de l’information et perception esthétique” [Information Theory and Aesthetic Consciousness] in Paris.

1959 Mathematician Helmar Frank completed his dissertation in Stutttgart with Moles on the subject Informationsästhetik – Grundlagenprobleme und erste Anwendung auf die mime pure [Information Aesthetics – Fundamental problems and initial application of the mime pure]. His doctorate thesis bridged a gap between Moles and Bense.

1965 Under the title “Kunst und Kybernetik”, art teacher Hans Ronge (1903 – 1973) organised the first art teachers’ conference on the 6th July in Recklinghausen, followed by two more in 1966 and 1967. During these conferences, Max Bense, Abraham A. Moles, Rul Gunzenhäuser, Frieder Nake, Kurd Alsleben and Karl Otto Götz presented contributions on the subject of Information Aesthetics.

1966 A show in Galerie d in Frankfurt was opened on the 11th November and was hosted parallel to the conference entitled “Programmierung in bildener Kunst und Industrial Design der Gesellschaft für exakte Ästhetik”. Max Bense and Abraham A. Moles were participants at the conference.

1967 Moles contributed to the Issue no. 5 of the series Exakte Ästhetik, which was dedicated to the theme Kunst aus dem computer.

1968 One day after Cybernetic Serendipity in London, Abraham A. Moles opened the Computers and Visual Research symposium in Zagreb.

1972 Gilles Gheerbrant published a portfolio with computer graphics, Art ex machina, in Montreal (Canada). In addition to serigraphy by Manuel Barbadillo, Hiroshi Kawano, Kenneth C. Knowlton, Manfred Mohr, Frieder Nake and Georg Nees. It includes a prologue by Abraham A. Moles.

1973 Abrham A. Moles’ book, Kunst und Computer, was published in Germany.

[Herzogenrath et al., 2007]


Portrait Abraham Moles