Abstract- Darko Fritz

Vladimir Bonac╣ic´: Computer-Generated Works Made within Zagreb’s New Tendencies Network (1961–1973)


Scientist Vladimir Bonac╣ic´ began his artistic career 1968 under the auspices of the international movement New Tendencies (NT) in Zagreb. His first artwork was done in collaboration with NT artist Ivan Picelj. From 1968 to 1971 Bonac╣ic´ created a series of “dynamic objects” – interactive computer-generated light installations five of which were set up in public spaces. The paper shows the context of his work within the Zagreb cultural environment dominated by NT movement and its international network (1961 – 1973) that transgressed Cold War blocks from than socialistic and non-aligned Yugoslavia. From 1961 to 1965 NT both stays for the kind of art (arte programata, lumino-kinetic art, gestalt kunst, neo-constructivist and concrete art and alike) and acts as kind of “umbrella network” for approximately 250 artists and critics and as well art groups. In later phase of the movement 1968 – 1973 second wave of artist and groups showed computer generated works. 1968 started series of international exhibitons and conferences Computer and visual research. Where Bonac╣ic´ took active part. The paper shows his theoretical and practical criticism of the use of randomness in computer-generated art and describes his working methods as using algebra of Galois fields and anti-commercial approach with custom-made hardware. The statement of the Brazilian artist Waldemar Cordeiro that computer art had replaced constructivist art found its proof in early artworks by Bonac╣ic´. It seems that Bonac╣ic´’s work fulfills and develops Matko Mes╣trovic´’s proposition that in order to enrich that which is human, art must start to penetrate the extra-poetic and the extra-human. An edited version of the paper will appear in Leonardo Volume 41, No. 1 (2008). Copyright ISAST.