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.