Born 1927, Franke studied physics and philosophy at the University of Vienna; his PhD thesis was in the field of electron optics. He is a pioneer of algorithmic art and was shown in many exhibitions worldwide. He started with an analog computer in 1954. His pioneering electronic abstractions paralleled those of Ben Laposky, leading however to his own personal and varied oeuvre which shows many animated and interactive algorithms on personal computers starting with an apple II and programs to explore the field between mathematics and art. In addition to this, Franke wrote many books and articles on computer art und artists of this genre. One of his books "Computer Graphics - Computer Art" is the earliest comprehensive text on the subject. He also developed a cybernetic art theory and is a co-founder of the Festival “ars electronica” in Linz, Austria.