[spectre] exhibition: bit international . [Nove] Tendencije – Computer and Visual Research

Darko Fritz fritz.d at chello.nl
Sun Apr 15 22:38:48 CEST 2007

bit international . [Nove] Tendencije – Computer and Visual Research

Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum . Graz . Austria
28 April – 17 June 2007

opening: Friday 27th April 19 h

Curator: Darko Fritz (Zagreb / Amsterdam)

The Neue Galerie in the Landesmuseum Joanneum Graz examines one of the 
most important international trends of the 1960s in the exhibition “bit 
international . [Nove] Tendencije computer and visual research”, which 
was of enormous influence at the time, but which has now slipped out of 
public consciousness and has virtually been lost to the history of the 
development of art. While numerous exhibitions have been held with the 
titles “New Tendencies” or “Nouvelle Tendance” in Venice and Paris, the 
place of origin - Zagreb, has vanished from the focus of attention. A 
biennial event developed in Zagreb starting with concrete and 
constructive art in 1961, maintained its avant-garde title by 
introducing the computer as a medium of “artistic research” in 1961. 
Simultaneous with the legendary Cybernetic Serendipity at the London 
ICA in 1968, which is regarded as the first major computer art 
exhibition, a colloquium also took place in Zagreb with an exhibition 
of computer generated art, tendencije 4.

The Gallery for Contemporary Art – today the Museum of Contemporary Art 
– dedicated a series of exhibitions, symposia and publications on the 
subject of the ‘Computer and Visual Research’. Original projects in 
both art and science were presented.  During the heyday of the Cold War 
artists and scientists from the entire world travelled to Zagreb – from 
Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia and the 
USA. The multi-lingual magazine published by the Gallery in Zagreb Bit 
International was an initiation point for aesthetic and media theory 
reflection and there was nothing that could be compared with it 
anywhere else in the world. ‘Tendencije 4’ attempted to both accompany 
and mould the historic transition in which the computer as a symbol 
processing machine first entered consciousness as a machine for 
artistic creation. The arts of the electronic media were not regarded 
as an isolated phenomenon, but were included in the history and the 
discourse on the fine arts and the performing arts.

A first review of the ‘Tendencije’ exhibitions and the publications of 
Bit International has now been assembled in cooperation with the Museum 
of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and with an international network of 
collectors and private archives in an exhibition curated by Darko 
Fritz. Graphic work, films, sculptures, poems, theatrical texts and 
artistic concepts. The English language anthology accompanying the 
exhibition (ed. Margit Rosen, in cooperation with Darko Fritz, Peter 
Weibel) has made the broad range – of both art works and theoretical 
writings accessible to a broader public of art and media historians and 
artists once again for the first in 30 years. The project also promotes 
an opening of awareness and sensitivity to the historical centres of 
the arts and culture in Eastern Europe.

Exhibition in the Neue Galerie in the Landesmuseum Joanneum Graz 
presents 93 artists and artists groups with more than 350 artworks, 
alongside computer programs and other working process documents.


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