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Digital Art in Croatia 1968 – 1984

Technical Museum Nikola Tesla


Early digital art in Croatia has never been systematically discussed. The criterion according to which works were selected from all the pieces of early digital art featured in this project is that in least one part of the working process, in pieces created up to 1984, digital technology was employed. Since no text or any other kind of document on the topic was available, the research had to start out from zero, collecting information and correlating the findings.1 Some of the anyway few leading figures and practitioners of early digital art in Croatia are no longer alive, and the networks and institutions are no longer in operation or else have undergone major changes, and so some useful information was either not accessible or could not be checked out multilaterally. Bearing this in mind, the author is aware that there might be some areas of incompleteness.

From the mid-20th century, during the transition from the industrial age to the information society, two segments of contemporary art practices used information as their primary material: conceptual art on the one hand2 and media art on the other, while the latter encompassed information that was digitally generated and mediated, digital art.3 Computers began to be used in visual art in the early 1960s, first in West Germany and in the USA. After a short period of the inauguration of Computer Art in mainstream art discourses and institutions in the late 1960s and at the very beginning of the 1970s, digital art disappeared from the world art scene in the mid-1970s, on the whole due to anti-technological feelings4 and the development of new discourses in contemporary art. From the 1960s there were waves of digital art within and without the fields of interest of mainstream contemporary art, which from the 1980s canonised mainly conceptual art, excluding other, competitive, discourses. From the 1990s, digital art was seen in the context of media art and media culture, an open area of practice and critical theory that operated on the narrow line between visual and multimedia art, science, technology and social and political activism. Attempts at the canonization of media art did not begin until the 21^st^ century.

This project is the first attempt at mapping the employment of digital technologies in the art of Croatia from 1968 to 1984, the years being chosen for several reasons. The year 1968 is not only that in which the first works of digital art in Croatia were made and shown in public, but also a year that became the signifier of a turning point in the creation of a new discourse in politics, society and art that occurred all over the world in the previous and the next few years. May 1968 was marked by student protests in Paris, rapidly spreading over Europe and North America. In London, on August 2, the exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity was opened, the first in a series of big exhibitions about computer art and cybernetics; the curator, Jasia Reichardt, later stated that it was then impossible to pull it off in Paris because of the different social climate and the anti-technological mood, one of the consequences of the social changes of 1968. The day after the opening of the London exhibition, in Zagreb the exhibition computers and visual research opened its doors, the beginning of the international event tendencies 4 (1968-1969), where the first digital works of Croatian artists were shown. On August 20, 1968, Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia so as to halt by military aggression the economic social and political changes in that country, the political programme named the Prague Spring,5 and there was some fear that Yugoslavia too would be attacked militarily.

The year 1984 was in 1949 in the novel of George Orwell been marked by a future dystopian totalitarian society that was completely controlled, by technological devices, among other things. The theme of Orwell's novel was used in the current 1984 for the promotion of the new Apple Macintosh6 personal computer, with the politically correct message against totalitarianism and surveillance. The theme of control was turned on its head in 1999 into entertainment by the introduction of the new format of reality TV, in which volunteer members of the public were voluntarily subjected to surveillance for the amusement of others. The first of this new kind of TV programme, Big Brother, was named, in fact, after the character of the dictator from the Orwell novel. After the events of September 11, 2001, in New York and the resulting total surveillance of citizens that was carried out by the NSA (DHS), the privacy that had been one of the achievements of civilisation was additionally under threat. With the appearance of social media, it was additionally perverted and, in the end laid bare to the public with the discovery of the activities of Cambridge Analytica Ltd, which used algorithms that directed the behaviour of citizens at the elections in 2016 in the USA and the UK, making use of the personal data mined from the social media of Facebook. In the domestic context, 1984 was the year when in Yugoslavia, and so in Croatia, citizens were allowed to import very modest and restricted amounts of computer equipment for personal use, in the face of swingeing customs duties at that. Until then this kind of activity had been illegal, the import of computer equipment being allowed only to legal entities, i.e. socially owned institutions or firms, which restricted any very wide use of computer equipment and in consequence the democratisation of digital art. We might say that from 1968 to 1984 there was a space that was simultaneously utopian and dystopian, which also set the framework of the interpretations of digital art, then as it does today. Techno-utopian and techno-dystopian discourses accompany all media art and culture, of which digital art is a part. Media art itself is constantly changing its definition and the topics it covers, occasionally in accord or discord with the discourses of contemporary art, which are also changing at their own rhythm, if more slowly.7

Student demonstrations in Paris, 1968

TV commercial for Apple Macintosh, 1984, directed by Ridley Scott

Today digital technology is omnipresent and it is hard to peel it apart from almost any form of human activity and sociality. Apart from the clearly digitally mediated activity that the individual carries out today routinely, such as banking and telecommunications, all parts of human being and operating are today shot through with digitalisation, and it can no longer been separated from business, science, art and all forms of personal and social communications. Personal and social communications take in a very wide range of relationships, from friendship, love and sex to politics. The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus during the preparations of this project speeded up digitalisation in those parts of the world where it had not been up-to-date, particularly as far as public services and personal telecommunications, remote education and work on personal computers, and it began to be assumed that everyone was digitally literate and had access to equipment. This turned out to be bad tactics for those who in fact did not, did not want to or could not use them for reasons of health, wealth or age, for example. Post-digital conditionality of our everyday life does not mean that the digital age has passed, but from the new understanding of non-linear time (and the crisis of the understanding of the present) the prefix "post" means that almost every aspect of sociality and the quotidian is suffused with digitalness, and that it is hard or impossible to separate them. The digital is today the inevitable.

In the given context of the post-digital conditionality of society, almost every work of art is today at least in some segment digital, whether in the phase of production, or presentation or documentation that enables archiving and further reproduction and distribution. The understanding of the technological and social context of the 1960s and 1970s is essential for the contextualisation of early digital art, which used big mainframe and then mini computers and early personal computers. These contexts, because of the constraints of this project, will here be only mentioned. We should bear in mind that for every work, a programme had to be specifically written, for ready-made user-friendly software did not exist. For the creation of a digital work it was necessary to have not only access to equipment, which was the first challenge for everyone, but also a programmer, whether this was the artist or an associate. It is not surprising that most of the authors of early digital art in the world were not trained artists, rather scientists and engineers, who were driven by creative impulses and began to create works of art, as was the case with the physicists Vladimir Bonačić,8 Vlatko Čerić and Vilko Žiljak. Tomislav Mikulić and Miljenko Horvat were in global terms among the few frontrunners of early digital art who were also trained in art, Horvat as architect active in the area of contemporary art as painter, photographer and member of the proto-conceptual group Gorgona, while Mikulić was trained at the art academy, which he attended in parallel with a study of electrical engineering. Andrija Mutnjaković and Velimir Neidhardt belonged to a still small grouping in world terms, of architects who used digital technologies in the architecture and urban design of the 1960s and 1970s.

Human creativity has unpredictable flows and reflections in many areas of activity from science, business, various hobbies and conscious artistic activity. In a global scale, one of the many scientists who created graphics with machines was Nikola Šerman, mechanical engineers, and expert in process dynamics and regulation in energy plants. At the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture from 1969 to 1971 he created a series of computer drawings with no particular purpose, as a break from working on his doctorate, purely as hobby. The graphics that he created on an analogue computer had no connection at all with his scientific work. They were meant as instructions to artists in the handling of tasks from descriptive geometry that Šerman imagined as being applied by artists in their work. The intention was to make the work of artists easier.

The well-known cinematographer Nikola Tanhofer is included in this survey as an early example of the currently omnipresent digital creative amateur, although he was a cinematographic classic who was dealing as a hobby with something that he found fun. In just a few months in 1982, Tanhofer did a series of computer graphics on his own personal computer, not getting into areas that he usually dealt with, film direction, cinematography, the technology of the movie camera, the theory of colour and such like matters. It has to be assumed that he got into computer graphics out of mere curiosity and for personal pleasure.

Technology to the people!
and the access to digital technology

The possibility of the production of digital art is inseparable from being able to have access to computer technology. The beginnings of the development of the computer in the 1940s and 1950s in the world were state and military secrets, and there was accordingly no expectation of the existence of digital art, save in exceptions. Digital art came into being in scientific institutions and at the universities. The first computers appeared on the market in the 1950s, and only the occasional company or institution could afford them. Because of the specific development of socialism in Yugoslavia and the fact that digital technologies were more developed in the western sphere of the Cold War division (members of NATO) than in the eastern (Warsaw Pact members), in Croatia access to advanced western digital technology was only partially enabled, but was nevertheless possible, unlike in other socialist countries. The USSR, on the other hand, had very highly developed electronics and technologies related to space research in which it had convincingly achieved important breakthroughs during the long string of Cold-War years and was obviously winning the space-race up to 1969, when the US put a man on the Moon.

The use of computers in the early 1950s in Croatia was restricted to state-owned scientific institutes, and from the mid-1950s with the introduction of general-purpose computers the use spread to statistics offices, scientific institutes, banks, major firms and the first computer centres. In the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) in Zagreb Branko Souček devised and led the construction of the first computer in Croatia in 1959: the project of the 256-channel analyser, memory, logic and programmes. After that the IRB produced specially devised computers for the business world. In the former Yugoslavia in 1960 30 electronic computers were installed; in 1966 the number rose to 56, and in 1968, which marked the beginning of digital art in Croatia, there were 95 of them.9 Apart from in individual institutions for the employees, access to digital equipment was possible in the university computing centre (known by the acronym Srce [also means: heart]), the central infrastructure establishment of the whole system of science and higher education in Croatia. From its very founding in 1971 as part of Zagreb University, the only university in Croatia at that time, Srce provided advisory and educational support to institutions and individuals of the academic and research community in the application of information and communication technology in education and research. The Srce building was opened in 1974.

Another challenge for early digital art apart from access to equipment was knowledge of programming, for every work had to be programmed separately. There were no commercially available programmes for the processing of image and sound, which appeared no sooner than the mid-1980s. Such multimedia programmes are available, some of them free or open-source which users can freely modify. In 1968 at the Electrical Engineering Faculty of Zagreb University, today the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science a computer was acquired, and the same year the major Computer Technology and Information Science was introduced.

In the local context we have to take into consideration the ideology of socialism implicit in which was accelerated technological development and the popularisation of technical sciences.10 At the First Congress of National Technology of Yugoslavia in 1952, the president, Josip Broz Tito, said:

Developing socialism means to create technical sciences and to master them. Today there are no frontiers to technology, it is universal and belongs to the whole of mankind. Technical and scientific discoveries are not something narrow, framed with borders, but the property of humanity, and the nation that gives more to humanity is valued accordingly.11

In line with this was the work of National Technology of Yugoslavia which from 1948 published its monthly Technology to the People, and also of its organisations in the republics, including National Technology of Croatia (renamed 1993 the Croatian Union of Technical Culture).12

Branko Souček: 256-channel analyser, 1958, the first digital computer to be made in Croatia, IRB, Zagreb

Computer configuration MMC, 1977

Branimir Makanec and Group of Cyberneticists, TIOSS, robot, 1961-1965

Zvonimir Jakubović describes the development of the institutionalisation of amateur technology:

In the technical clubs the basics of many technical skills were mastered, and the use of the equipment of the time; they were in a sense people's universities. In the photographic clubs they learned how to handle cameras, photograph, D and P, in the radio clubs they worked on radios, and then television receivers, to make simple receivers, put up aerials and so on. The making of amateur radio receivers and transmitters and the maintenance of radio communications was at that time when there was no internet a kind of window on the world.13

Some of these clubs gave rise to surprisingly high artistic and cultural results, as was the case with film clubs, where important auteur and experimental films were produced. The auteurs gathered around Kino Club Zagreb in 1963 launched a significant international festival of experimental film, GEFF in Zagreb.14

Among the current 16 members of the Croatian Union of Technical Culture that cover various activities, there is also the Croatian Association of Information Scientists, the successor to the Association of Societies for Information Science and Computer Activity of Croatia, founded in 1985, and the Croatian Robotic Association, founded in 1994 as the Croatian Society for Robotics. With the appearance of the first electronic computers in 1970, the primary knowledge in information science was in good part acquired in the information science clubs.15

Before the appearance of personal computers, access to digital technologies, on which some artistic work could be produced, was possible only in scientific institutions, of the kind in which Vladimir Bonačić worked (IRB), universities, where Tomislav Mikulić studied, and where Vilko Žiljak and Miljenko Horvat worked (in Montreal), with which Andrija Mutnjaković collaborated, in the big business corporations where Vilko Žiljak and Vlatko Čerić worked. Artistic production was mostly done by the side of current jobs, in people's free time. Realising the problems artists had in accessing digital equipment, the organisers of the event tendencies 4 in 1969, offered as a prize for the exhibition section computers and visual research the "possibility of the use of a computer in Zagreb" as well as the publication and exhibition of the work produced.16 It was only from 1972 that digital technology became accessible to the wider public in the Multimedia Centre of the Referral Centre of Zagreb University (abbreviated MMC). Thanks to Branimir Makanec, who persistently promoted the computerisation of education, the centre facilitated access to the HP2000E time-sharing computer, which for thousands of citizens meant an initiation into computers and information technology. The computer cost USD 150,000 — in today's terms more than a million dollars. In the classroom, there were six terminals, with which the information education for teachers and pupils of secondary schools began.17 MMC enabled remote work for schools and faculties; via modem and telephone signal up to 16 users were able to work simultaneously. It opened the door to all who were interested on work days, all day long (from 8 am to 8 pm), free of charge. Damir Boras and Branimir Makanec in 1976 published a manual for the preparation of teaching units in the teaching of the application of computers in multimedia centres of elementary and secondary schools. For gifted individuals who developed their own varied software, the MMC was a second home, where they worked at night as well. Among the attendees, as well as hardware and software specialists, there were also artists; fine artist Tomislav Mikulić, who did the first digital animations in Croatia, the multimedia artist and cineaste Vladimir Petek as well as information scientist Goran Premec who in the 1980s developed a series of digital multimedia systems used by artists. Premec was one of the five co-authors of the art project Cathedral put on in the PM (Extended Media) Gallery in Zagreb in 1988, a project that did not present art objects but was "one of the first interactive computer-generated spaces in the world."18 In the MMC in 1977 electrical engineer Damir Boras developed, after ideas of the architect Velimir Neidhardt of the Urbanistic Institute of Croatia, URBAN the first computer language for the requirements of urban design and spatial planning in Croatia.

Velimir Neidhardt and Damir Boras, URBAN, 1977, Petrinja

The development of microprocessor technology, which Intel first put on the market in 1971, enabled the development of personal computers (PCs) and the democratic use of information technology, which crucially modified the landscape of creativity and digital art. Among those attending MMC were youngsters who, mentored by Branimir Makanec, soon launched the local production of personal computers, starting up a number of small firms. Alongside state-owned firms, typical of socialist countries, and joint models of ownership developed via the particularly Yugoslav model of self-management, the capitalist model of production was enabled through small privately owned companies, the conditions of their operations changing dynamically from the 1960s to the end of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991. The production of the first personal computers in Croatia, and in SFRY, was primarily meant for education. From 1980, small firms in Croatia started and ran the first production of personal computers in Yugoslavia, where they were present on the market. Ivasim elektronika of Ivanić Grad in 1980 produced, to the design of Branimir Makanec, KAG A3 "a universal school computer."19 PEL Varaždin constructed the first 8-bit home system of Croatian make, GALEB YU 101. It was designed by Miroslav Kocijan, and produced from 1981 to 1984 in a batch of 200 items. Zorislav Šojat produced for PEL Varaždin the IVEL Z-3, starting the first large scale production of computers in Yugoslavia. Designed in 1982, it was available on the market from 1984 and was the first computer to incorporate both Croatian Latin script and Serbian Cyrillic, with a keyboard that was compliant with Croatian. In 1983, Branimir Makanec constructed in Ivasim of Ivanić Grad the IVEL Ultra system, which was the most used in Croatian secondary schools. The computer was compatible with Apple II software, even with improved performances and an operating system more suitable for education. IVEL Ultra had built-in cards for audio-visual communication, which included controls for video and slide projection as well as synthesised speech. Up to 1987, 1200 computers were produced, of which 1000 were installed in schools. Miroslav Kocijan developed for PEL Varaždin the personal computer ORAO YU 102, which, in an upgraded version, became a standard in Croatian elementary schools from 1985 to 1990.20 During the 1980s, then, Croatian products, the only and the most present, became a force on the Yugoslav federal market for personal computers.

In contradiction to the motto of Technology to the people, in Yugoslavia citizens were forbidden the personal import of foreign electronic components and computers right until 1984. In 1984 Voja Antonić of Serbia developed the Galaksija system, the parts for which were ordered via the journal Računari. This was a DIY project. It was possible to order via the journal a printed board and ROMs, while the purchasers had to import and assemble other components and a housing themselves and put them all together at home. At a later date, there was factory-made version. It was only in 1984 that SFR Yugoslavia let its citizens import electronic components from abroad, up to a maximum value of USD 200, onto which high duties were tacked. This amount enabled the legal purchase of only the weakest computer in terms of processor, the ZX Spectrum, while more serious computers or parts were imported by interested enthusiasts illegally, i.e., they smuggled them in. Vilko Žiljak says: "I bought my first personal computer an Apple II (smuggled in parts) in 1979."21 The situation vis-à-vis the purchase of personal computers is also described by Tomislav Mikulić when, in 1981, he heard that Nikola Tanhofer had bought a DAL computer, which he too was interested in:

Today it sounds completely normal, everyday. A friend has bought a computer, and so what? But at that time, in 1981, it was unimaginably hard to buy a computer. They had just appeared in the world at large and started competing in foreign ads. In this country they were not in the shops, you could not go and see how they worked, buy one... our common friend who lived in Zagreb and worked as architect in Munich... unselfishly helped all of us when we needed something from Germany.22

Hybrid analogue-digital systems for the production of artworks

The first artworks that used digital technologies were generated exclusively on a computer, while other direct digital inputs were not possible (there were no digital sound recorders, still or video cameras). Then came works that were hybrids of analogue and digital technologies, primarily for the simple reason that output technology did not exist in a single system of several machines that communicated with each other in digital contents, as today is done by contemporary screens, projects, LED displays, 3-D printers, light show controllers, robotics and the like. In the period that is discussed in this project, from 1968 to 1984, digital technologies were rapidly changing, and various items of computer equipment were not compatible, far less compatible than today even. The various adapters were not commercially available, and the authors often had to construct and produce hybrid systems themselves.

In the age of the mainframe computer images were depicted on the small monochrome screen of an oscilloscope. At the end of the 1960s, Vladimir Bonačić produced his first visual works with an oscilloscope. This device enabled the depiction of vector lines, line drawings, that is, not pictures composed of pixels. Apart from the oscilloscope depictions, vector drawings with digital technologies could be made permanent by printing them on plotters. Photographs or half-tone images (digitally composed of pixels) could be printed out via line writers, typewriters linked to a computer, but in a particular and limited manner. With line writers, ingenious creative people printed out pictures in letters, what were called ASCII images: the halftones of digitally processed photographs or computer-generated images were written out with a given letter or symbol from a line printer. At the beginning of the 1970s, Vilko Žiljak and Vlatko Čerić used this technology in their first digital images.

For the purposes of works that required more than these restricted possibilities of presentation, hybrid analogue-digital systems were devised and produced. The gap between the abstract world of the digital programme and the physical and material realm that was perceptible to the senses had to be bridged. In early digital art, peripherals were on the whole developed and made out of sheer necessity, for external units for the required visual output, the currently standard colour monitors or big LED screens for media facades did not then exist. Just the occasional studio in the USA of the 1960s was able to expose picture after picture directly from the computer on a film strip to produce a film, while European authors had no access to this equipment. The printing out of vector graphics with a plotter linked up to a computer was limited by the size of the paper, and in the black and white samples colours would perhaps be added at a later time by the choice of coloured ink in several phases of plotter printing, where each colour was separately drawn out over the same paper. Hence the regular method was the adoption of the silkscreen technique (offset, in rare cases, mainly in magazines), in which the impression of black and white originals of computer-printed graphics could be reproduced further with analogue photographic techniques and printing techniques in a wide range of colours on the kind and size of paper desired, in larger editions.

There are numerous examples of earlier computer art in these kinds of hybrid systems, and can be found among artists in Croatia. Punched computer tape processed with a photographic repro camera and printed in traditional printing techniques (visual t4 of Ivan Picelj); computer graphic subsequently printed (in colour) on paper with serigraphy (Horvat, Mikulić); offset or printing on silk (both Žiljak); sequences of digital images depicted on an oscilloscope and shot with still (Bonačić) or movie camera (Petek, Mikulić) and enlarged printouts of digital drawings that were used as schemas for building in other materials (Mutnjaković). In the sections below devoted to individual authors we shall describe in detail these procedures and selected works. Numerous inventions were developed by the actual artists. Vladimir Petek conceived digital hardware systems for the presentation of multimedia works, on the whole artistic audiovisual presentations. We might mention just a few: Reader of computer punched tapes, model 565, of 1976, registered 32 channels that activated relays (produced by hardware specialist Igor Horvatinec), Decoder of final signal for H. Packard computer of 1976, produced an end signal that was used in the computer film and Modification of personal computer ZX-81 of 1982 (both produced by Milan Kodarić), where 14 relays were built into a computer to control peripherals.23 Hypothetically looked at, today perhaps some artist pragmatically aiming at easier production and reduction of costs would have adapted the works to existing and easily accessible standard mass market devices. But at that time hybrid analogue-digital systems and devices had to be devised, designed and you had to do it yourself (DIY) or with others (DIWO).24 Controllers for multimedia devices that were made by Vladimir Petek are accessible today and widely featured. Since they only controlled the devices, the external experience of the work would be the same if today's commercially available devices for precise control had been used.

It is worth considering the case of the electronic objects and media facades that were produced by Vladimir Bonačić from 1969 to 1971. In his works the artistic impression would have been essentially changed if he had used today's widely distributed technology. Bonačić devised and produced special custom-made computers and custom-made monitors designed according to the requirements of artworks. For example, his dynamic light object DIN.PR18, a computer-generated 36-metre-wide luminous object, in 1969 temporarily placed on the façade of a Nama department store in Zagreb, could have been easier produced today with standard LED lighting. But if it had been done that way, it would certainly have lost out on its unique visual appearance. The work was controlled by a computer designed by Bonačić and specially made for it, made by a team of expert electrical engineers and computer programmers at IRB where the work was programmed on the SDS-930 computer. Today probably this control could have been done with a Raspberry Pi some ten centimetres in size and costing about ten dollars, available in a nearby store or ordered from the internet instead of by a custom-made computer that controlled the light.

In the wider context of the creative use of digital technologies it is worth mentioning the first robot in Croatia, TIOSS, standing for "remote-controlled executive organ of a self-organising system". It was constructed in 1961 by Branimir Makanec then a first-year student at the EEF in Zagreb, who had in the same year founded the informal Cyberneticists Group with whose five members he had made the robot, mainly from parts of American planes from the military scrap yard. He describes the work:

An aluminium two-metre-tall guy weighing almost two hundred kilos moved adroitly with the help of the motors from the landing gear of Flying Fortresses and spots from its wings. The most essential TIOSS parts were its legs, in which almost all of its weight was concentrated. In each foot there was a 12-volt battery, and in the left leg under the knee a 220-volt charger; in the other leg in the same place were relay sets that were the brain of the computer. Relays at that time were the only devices that worked binarily, and I used them to make a computer that I programmed to control the robot. Underneath the foot were wheels that the robot used to move. If he got a move on, he would without any problem be able to catch up with a man running. Robot also had moveable arms and hands that in their fingers had a kind of sense of touch, so that TIOSS would know whether or not he had something in his hand, and so he could grasp and release various objects... We had to give up on full autonomy for computers at that time were too big to put into a robot's body. So he was controlled by a portable radio transmitter and with a wireless remote control unit with a large number of commands that I designed for that very purpose.25

TIOSS made its public debut in 1965 at the Zagreb Fair, where he gave out advertising leaflets. He had two eyes with light sensors and was programmed in the direction from which there was more light. The following year, 1966, TIOSS walked around Ban Jelačić Square in Zagreb, taking part in the shooting of a television programme of Stjepan Rodek about AI.26

Armin Medosch: analysis of NT network, 2016 (Gephi software, Doron Goldfarb)

[new] tendencies, 1961-1978

A comprehension of digital art through the prism of contemporary art is possible, through the development of international exhibitions, movements and several art networks established in this framework called new tendencies, new tendency, tendency, which we shall refer to here as NT. In the Croatian context, NT were/was crucial for the initiation, first production, presentation, exhibition, criticism and theory of domestic digital art, as well as its presence in the international digital art networks and elsewhere from 1968.

The new cultural climate in Croatia in the 1960s, marked by involvement in international currents outside the framework of the Cold War, is quite obvious in the visual arts as well.27 The same process went on in other artistic disciplines with the launching of a number of international events that presented the avant-garde artistic leading edge of the day in, for example, contemporary music through the Music Biennial Zagreb (since 1961) and the experimental (anti)film through GEFF — Genre Film Festival (1963-1970).

In the visual arts, by way of reaction to the idea of individualism and the uniqueness of the artistic genius, and as criticism of Art Informel, a new generation of visual artists appeared, rational in their approach, gathered together under various mainly subsequently established titles such as Concrete Art, neo-Constructivist Art, Lumino-kinetic art, Gestalt Kunst, arte programmata, Op Art and others. Probably for the first time in history, artists in Croatia not only took an active part in but were also in the vanguard of the intellectual framework of the new artistic ambitions, first in the European and then on the world art scene, with the New Tendencies movement. The plurality of artistic trends of a rational approach was presented at exhibitions and symposia in Zagreb and in other centres and presentation locations from 1961 to 1978 via publications, the journal bit international and through a dynamic international network and platform of various but always progressive artistic theories and practices of the 1960s and 1970s. The Gallery [today Museum] of Contemporary Art organised five NT exhibitions in Zagreb from 1961 to 1973, and some big exhibitions were also held in Paris, Venice and Leverkusen, while the last activity under this name, tendencies 6, was held as a symposium Art and Society in Zagreb in 1978. The group exhibition of European artists of 1961 grew into an international movement known as New Tendencies, also important for having, in the time of the Cold War, brought together artists, gallerists and theorists, first from East and West Europe (and South American dissidents) and from 1965 also from the US, USSR and South America, subsequently also from Africa and Asia. Such a unique situation was enabled by the cultural and geo-political position of Zagreb in what was then socialist but nonaligned Yugoslavia, which at a practical level enabled cultural exchange and unrestricted travel to Zagreb for both sides of the Iron Curtain.28

tendencije 4, 1969, posters, design by Ivan Picelj, each sized 97 x 49.5 cm [MCA]

tendencije 4, 1969, posters, design by Ivan Picelj, each sized 97 x 49.5 cm [MCA]

Vladimir Bonačić and Ivan Picelj: T-4, 1969, electronic object, size 101.8 x 59.7 x 33.4 cm [MCA]

I propose to look separately at three phases of NT through the formation of three different networks, people and institutions:

  1. the formation of the international NT movement and its dispersal, 1961-1965,
  2. the introduction of the computers and visual research section, 1968,
  3. the introduction of the conceptual art section, 1973.29

Curators of the new tendencies exhibition were individuals from outside any institutions: art historian Matko Meštrović of Zagreb and the Brazilian/German artist Almir Mavignier.30 The exhibition was organised with the support of the Galleries of Zagreb City (GGZ), in whose Gallery of Contemporary Art (now Museum of Contemporary Art) in Zagreb and held in 1961 with Božo Bek as director. It represented, as the name suggests, the plurality of the avant-garde tendencies of the time in its breadth of themes and subjects. Tautological and monochromatic painting was shown, but it was possible to observe shifts way from painting to object, produced by Otto Piene and Heinze Mack from the Zero Group, Almir Mavignier, Enrico Castellani, Piero Manzoni and participants from Croatia, Julije Knifer and Ivan Picelj. Most of the works were oriented towards visual research through algorithmic works, which was to mark the further development of NT as movement (Piero Dorazio, François Morellet from the Groupe de Recherche d\'Art Visuel GRAV), Karl Gerstner, and towards research into optical and perceptual structures (Marc Adrian, Julio Le Parc from GRAV, Günther Uecker from Group Zero, Group "N": Alberto Biasi, Manfredo Massironi, Ennio Chiggio, Toni Costa, Edoardo Landi). In the catalogue of the first NT exhibition, an indicative statement from François Morellet of GRAV was included: "We are faced with a revolution in art which will be just as great as that in the sciences. Hence reason and the spirit of systematic research have to replace intuition and the individual expression." Movement and light were brought in as themes and materials, which would later more clearly come into focus as guidelines for the following NT exhibition and through promotion of unstable media and (inter)active participation of the public in the work of art, i.e. the result of the research. During the exhibition, the participants, prompted by the unique encounter with similar artists and theorists, spontaneously organised themselves into an international network with the idea of continuing the organisation of biennial exhibitions (among other motives we would mention the idea of an alternative to the Venice Biennale which had at that time come under criticism). A large group of artists met again in November 1962 in the Paris studio of GRAV, and in 1963 the exhibition New tendencies 2 was held, now as international movement, platform of a profiled kind of art of the new (industrial and future-oriented) age, which perceived itself as a social and artistic avant-garde that by critical examination of the visual aspired to social change and visual experiments with a positive attitude to science and machine technology was doing away with the concept of the finished, one-off artwork and accordingly, like the previous avant-gardes, was taking part in the abrogation of art. The exhibition presented numerous works of programmed and lumino-kinetic art, and NT assumed the profile of the biggest international exhibition and most comprehensive network of this kind of work in the world. The Croatian artists taking part were Vojin Bakić, Julije Knifer, Vladimir Kristl, Ivan Picelj, Vjenceslav Richter, Aleksandar Srnec and Miroslav Šutej. The catalogue included a text of Matko Meštrović, later symptomatically called "Ideology of the New Tendencies", which in terms of programmatic and theoretical structure it actually was. The demythologising of art and the demystification of the creative process were announced also by the positive approach to the industrial production of art works (the highly essential possibility of multiplication), team work and a rational approach. Meštrović called for an acceleration of evolution and a synthesis of science and art in the framework of "scientification" of humanist disciplines and art as part of the long term (utopian) process of the overall scientification of all human activity. He thought it was possible to begin this process actively, at once, and present the global model that was the ultimate objective, in smaller scales, by activity in the field of art, starting with the appropriation of scientific methods such as research and experiment. There was the problem of the distribution of all material and spiritual goods in equal measure and return of the results of science to the public domain. Meštrović saw the works of the NT not as a one-of-a-kind commodity for the art market but as "plastic-visual research with the endeavour to establish the objective psycho-physical bases of the plastic phenomenon and visual perception, thus excluding in advance any possibility of the interference of subjectivism, individualism and romanticism."31 Then came the development of the thesis of the ultimate transcendence of art of the kind we know by raising the awareness of the world via the transformation of the social into the artist act, thus actively changing the whole world.

After the Zagreb show, the exhibition NT2 was shown in Venice in a somewhat different set-up and with a different name. New tendencies changed its name to new tendency (singular), as explained only two years later in the NT3 catalogue, for the singular was also accepted for the following exhibition in Zagreb in 1965 "because of the striving for the conceptual concentration of purposes and shared ideas." Conflict among the various fractions in the movement was caused the characterisation of suitable and unsuitable works and artists in terms of ever more rigorous formal criteria. The democratic nature of the first NT exhibition was replaced by an approach that was dogmatic and uniform, presented and imposed in the name of progress, consistency and the focussing of artistic ideas. The international impact made worked in such a way that NT began to be labelled a kind of (if never defined) artistic trend and style, but the fact is that in the first phase (up to 1965) it brought together more than 150 artists, artistic groups, theorists, critics and gallerists. Following the idea of the rationalisation of artistic production and the conception of art as research that were framed theoretically by, among others, Matko Meštrović, Giulio Carlo Argan, Frank Popper and Umberto Eco, NT were open to new fusions of art and science. With an accent on the scientification of art, NT became oriented to programmatic visual research founded on Gestalt theory, and presented artistic ideas and various lines of direction of rational art such as arte programmata, Lumino-kinetic art, Gestalt Kunst, neo-Constructivist Art, Concrete Art and similar terms, later brought together under the name of NT or perhaps the umbrella title of visual research, most often not mentioning the word art.

The elements of criteria for a systematic categorisation of works of the NT of 1965 considered the spatial, material, technical, constructive, formal and functional dispositions of a work. Every disposition was divided into several sub-groups, for example, the constructive dispositions were: static, variable, kinetic, mechanised, motorised and repeatable; the formal were composed, structured, fortuitous, monophase-structured, progressively structured and continually programmed. Printed invites to compete for exhibition were sent out around the world, at a time when international calls for works were not as standard as they are today. The competition referred to these sections of theoretical and practical approaches of divulgation (reproducibility) for NT3. Since the response was poor, in fact an exhibition was put on consisting of prototypes of multiples (the rules of the competition said that the price of a multiple could not exceed USD 50) and an extensive but by now standard exhibition of the now internationally influential movement and an established aesthetic. The exhibition catalogue of new tendency 3 of 1965, had only in a quarter of its contents any reproduction of 71 works from the main exhibition and 28 from the exhibition of multiples, while the greater part was dedicated to a multitude of important articles of artists and theoreticians. At a meeting for the occasion of NT members and participants, French theorist Abraham Moles initiated a debate about the relation of cybernetics, information theory and art, which would prove crucial for the further development of NT.

As for Croatian authors in the NT context, along with Ivan Picelj, who exhibited at all NT events, in the 1960s Koloman Novak and Aleksandar Srnec did series of lumino-kinetic objects that used programmed electronic and mechanical features and light as basic media and materials. In the early 1960s, Vjenceslav Richter produced batches of what were called systemic sculptures, the basic element of which was industrially produced, and composed into a whole, permanent or variable, that was formed by the interrelated parallel sliding of the elements. From this batch came that of Reliefometers (I-IV), fabricated from 1963 to 1969, in which interaction with the sculpture was afforded in the movement of its elements and the shaping of new forms. The basic intention was visual research into the user-observer, from which these objects could be considered instruments and not sculptures.32 In contact with the group of engineers and artists from the USA called Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT), Richter considered the automation of the movements of the Reliefometer elements with electrical motors controlled by computer, but this stayed at the level of idea. From 1962 Juraj Dobrović developed rational geometrical structures through spatial constructions, reliefs in which he included the analysis of geometrical reality and variation of the operation of light.

As early as 1963, Julio Le Parc had won the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennale, while NT artists became established and exhibited at prestigious galleries and exhibitions like the Kassel Documenta. The NT2 exhibition was presented, after Venice, in Leverkusen in 1964. The same year there was a new exhibition, the biggest so far, in Paris, which included works by Lili Greenham and Bridget Riley. Symptoms of a similar kind could be seen at the exhibition Responsive Eye held in 1965 in the New York Museum of Modern Art, taken part in by numerous members of the NT, but their work was submerged in a commercial context that focused more on retinal effects than on the social dimension of artistic work (after this exhibition the term Op Art came in). From outside, in the mid-1960s, NT ideas entered the mainstream and were reshaped with simplifications, while at the same time the social engagement that had once been up front was ignored. What with the inflexibility, what with the intellectual intransigence, but also of a certainty because of the lack of a democratic model of communication within the undefined hierarchy of the movement that nevertheless considered itself democratic and at the same time expanded with an ever-increasing number of participants, in the middle of the 1960s, the NT was faced with an internal crisis. Confronted with it, after the new tendency 3 exhibiton, the organisers at a certain moment gave up on any further NT events, but nevertheless changed their minds under the influence of new ideas about information theory and computers, with which they wished to test out and perhaps refresh positions that had been established. The unique combination of theory and practice in NT once again came to the fore.

Introduction of the computers and visual research section in NT, 1968

In search of a continuity of radical ideas that they stood for, skipping the biennial nature of NT, from 1968 the titles of the exhibitions dropped the adjective new and were held only under the title tendencies. In the framework of the biannual event tendency 4, during 1968 and 1969 a series of exhibitions and symposia entitled computers and visual research was held.33 Leading the discourse in the direction of computers and visuals research was the information aesthetic of Max Bense and Abraham Moles, presented in the magazine bit international and at presentations during the symposia. Using the same methodology, the new visual research with computers could now be analyzed according to the same principles as those from previous NT phases, and it seemed that their aesthetic value could be even scientifically measured with the methodologies of the information aesthetic.

Artist and designer Ivan Picelj designed all the posters and catalogues of the Zagreb NT exhibitions. In 1968 he designed a visual for the tendencies 4 event, in the shape of a collage of computer perforated tape (for the storage of digital data), which he produced in IRB in Zagreb. The first work of digital art in Croatia had come into being! The punched computer tape was processed with a repro camera and hand-collaged, forming an image consisting of a grid of circles and solid circles. The image visualised the binary code that in its new form became illegible to the computer. In the upper part of the image, ten rows of grids of circles Picelj filled in by hand in such a way as to form a textual string reading t4t4t, referring to the exhibition tendencies 4. The visual was published in 1968 in the third number of bit international, using letter press with which the magazine was printed in the form of a positive image (with white background), while its further reproduction would be in the form of a negative image. Two posters for tendencies 4 of 1969 done in serigraphy were the most prominent use of this visual.

During the preparation of tendencies 4 the organisers in the Gallery of Contemporary Art looked for collaborators in all the scientific institutions in Yugoslavia that used computers for scientific visualisation, bearing in mind the set theme "computer in visual research". In April 1968 a meeting in IRB was held.34 Together with other scientists with whom they later worked, the organisers became acquainted in the institute with the young physicist Vladimir Bonačić, who made use of visual research in maths in his scientific research. Bonačić, influenced by NT, started to take up art, expanding his scientific work with aesthetic categories All his art works were created on the grounds of an exact mathematical method and visualised compositions of pseudorandom Galois field algorithms.

From August 2 to August 9, 1968, at the exhibition computers and visual research at the Centre for Culture and Information in Zagreb (today known as KIC) as part of the event tendencies 4 digital art works were shown in Croatia for the first time; the only Croatian artist, Vladimir Bonačić, presented a batch of photographic works, digital graphics shot on an oscilloscope. The exhibition followed the international seminar of the same name at which, among other things, Abraham Moles presented computer-generated music. At the international symposium, the Croatian authors who gave presentations were Vladimir Bonačić ("The capacities of the computer in visual research"), Branimir Makanec ("The role of interaction in computer-aided artistic research"), Matko Meštrović ("About the situation"), Vladimir Muljević ("What are the points of contact between computer and artist?"), Vjenceslav Richter ("Dilemma"), Zdenko Šternberg ("Knowledge of the nature of the creative process") and Božo Težak ("The complexity of visual research"), while organisers from the Gallery of Contemporary Art, the curators Radoslav Putar and Boris Kelemen also took part. Taking part in the seminar was Jiří Valoch, curator of the first international exhibition of digital art in the world, held in the February of the same year in Czechoslovakia.35 The political situation in the world in 1968 had been changing radically for several years, which was reflected in art as well, particularly the kind that considered its role to be emphatically societal. In 1968 at the seminar Matko Meštrović commented on the current state of affairs in the NT:

During the years after the first, second and third Tendencies in Zagreb it became clear that the consistency of the movement would not be kept up, but it was not clear where the real reasons for the impossibility of its internal coherence lay. These reasons lay in social resistance to ideational radicalisation, and as for science, which was itself alienated and manipulated, there were no real connections with it. It was also not clear that engagement at the level of the idea also had to be political engagement.36

Artist of the first NT grouping Alberto Biasi got into a fierce discussion with digital artist Frieder Nake about the political situation in 1968, the student protests and the artist's social commitment. This discussion and the texts of the presentations of all the participants were published at once in 1968 in bit international no. 3. On the last page of the book block was published an announcement of the extensive programme of tendencies 4 for the following year, along with the Picelj visual already referred to. Ivan Picelj thought about extending the visual t4 from graphic depiction to luminous object, following his own research into relief, which he accomplished in a series of works in wood and bronze entitled Surface of 1961. Picelj and Bonačić started a collaborative venture that resulted in an electronic object with the title of t4, presented in 1969. In terms of composition, the electronic object t4 followed the graphic visual of the same title, but here the image is made dynamic by light. The front of the object is a kind of screen made of a grid composed of round aluminium tubes. Each tube is sawn at an angle and has in it a little bulb that is controlled by a custom-made computer built into the object itself. As in the graphic language of full and void circles create a composition of the image of the t4 graphic visual, here the individual tubes light up or do not creating dynamic luminous compositions. As on the graphic visual, the upper part shows variations of the signs t4 but now in several animations, shifting, for example, from left to right. The rest of the image lights up in asymmetric luminous patterns. Four buttons on the back of the "screen" enable some manipulation of the image, which makes this object the first digital interactive work in Croatia. Bonačić's experience in physics and electronics was an important contribution to the production of this work, as were the excellent production conditions in the IRB workshops.

At the international exhibition computers and visual research that was offered as part of the tendencies 4 event in the Gallery of Contemporary Art in 1969,37 Vladimir Bonačić, the only Croatian author in the exhibition, presented a series of computer-generated photographs entitled PLN of 1969 and, apart from the t4 work created with Picelj, other objects as well. In addition to numerous new exhibits, which now included objects and not just graphics, Bonačić put up an installation in public space: a 36-metre-long computer-generated light installation in Kvaternik Square in Zagreb.

Exhibition computers and visual research, tendencies 4, Culture & Information Centre, Zagreb, 1968 [MCA]

Colloquium computers and visual research, tendencies 4, Culture & Information Centre, Zagreb, 1968, Radoslav Putar, Boris Kelemen and Abraham Moles[MCA]

Exhibition of publications, tendencies 4, Culture & Information Centre, Zagreb, 1968; Boris Kelemen and Kurd Alsleben; Frieder Nake and Boris Kelemen [MCA]

The programme of tendency 4 was vast and was accomplished during the year 1968 to 1969 at numerous sites in Zagreb and through numerous presentation formats. At the exhibition new tendencies 4 1969 at the Museum of Arts and Crafts works were shown using analogue media, divided into two groups — nt4 — recent examples of visual research, which followed the "NT old guard", which was given a retrospective nt1 — nt3 in the same space. In the Student Centre Gallery with an exhibition of typoetry a performance was given, and apart from artistic works publications were exhibited at two exhibitions, in the Centre for Culture and Information in 1968 and in ISIP38 in 1969. When we are speaking of digital art the exhibitions of tendencies 4 (1968-1969) showed a total of 189 digital works by 33 artists or interdisciplinary groups at the exhibitions computers and visual research in the Centre for Culture and Information in 1968 and at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in 1969, including an installation in public space in Kvaternik Square. At the exhibition and symposium computers and visual research in 1969 the works and ideas of important international leaders in digital art from around the world were gathered together, including the authors of the first ever digital graphics Frieder Nake, Georg Ness and A. Michael Noll. Works were shown from the very beginnings of digital printmaking in 1963 to more recent works Digital images of Ken Knowlton, Leon Harmon and Manfred Schroeder investigated visual perception in image resolution, such as the transition from ASCII signs to pictograms, i.e., to symbols instead of Latin alphabet and Arabic numbers. Computer films showed morphing animation in the Czury film Hummingbird and a computer-generated ballet by A. Michael Noll.

The computer was seen as a tool that guaranteed objectivity, rationality and the monitoring of the production process in such a way as to enable greater precision and processes of greater complexity in the creation of images. The curators clearly adduced the link between concrete and digital art. One of the curators, Radoslav Putar, described this:

"Even before the 1960s, Karl Gerstner had spoken about the programming of procedures; he mentioned the routine procedures of encoding the elements of the image. Uli Pohl while NT-2 was on spoke of the anonymity and exclusion of subjectivity; all spoke about the ending of the importance of one-off or unrepeatable creative acts of an individual genius; they spoke of collective work of a team that would make examples of the visualisation of plastic ideas; many members of NT endeavoured in this work to give the habitus of the machine, or else founded their procedures on the application of mechanical or electrical devices; they all dreamed machines and — now the machines were here. And machines had arrived from directions that were a bit unexpected, they were accompanied by people who were neither sculptors nor painters."39

But only five of the first grouping of NT artists started to employ digital media: Marc Adrian, Waldemar Cordeiro, Ivan Picelj, Zdenek Sykora and Herman de Vries. On May 5, 1969 at a symposium in Zagreb, art critic Jonathan Benthall of London read out the Zagreb Manifesto, which he had written with cyberneticist Gordon Hyde and artist Gustav Metzger, the first words of which were "We hail the initiative of the organisers of the International Symposium on Computers and Visual Research and the exhibition of the same name in May 1969 in Zagreb".40 The next line identified the "we" of the introductory sentence: "Founded in London this year was the Computer Arts Society — CAS — the objectives of which are to promote the creative use of the computer in art and to encourage the exchange of information in the area."41

It goes on to say: "Now it is clear that the computer and cognate disciplines provide a link where art meets science and technology". The conclusion of the Zagreb Manifesto was richly imbued with ideas that were circulating at the end of the 1960s and which today might be re-examined as issues that are still up-to-date:

Artists increasingly want to link their work and the work of technicians with a current social crisis that has no precedent. Some artists react making use of their experience in science and technology in order to attempt to resolve essential social problems. Others with research work in cybernetics and neuroscience test out new ideas about the interaction of man and environment. Some identify their work with the concept of ecology, which involves the whole technological environment that humanity has foisted on nature. In science there are creative people who think that the problem of man/machine is at the heart of the solution for computers to become the servant of man and nature. They welcome the insights of artists in this context, for they enable use not to lose sight of humanity and beauty.42

Gustav Metzger, co-author of the Zagreb Manifesto at that time edited the bulletin PAGE, issued by the Computer Arts Society of London, took up a critical viewpoint about the use of technology in art: "There is no doubt that in computer art there is a genuine avant-garde army."43 At the exhibition he presented a mock-up of his own art work — a self-destructing computer-generated sculpture Five Screens with Computer, imagined for public space, counting on interaction with the public.44 That was one of the rare moments in the 1960s when one socially engaged international network of digital art was in fertile communication with another. The sphere of interest of CAS and that of NT overlapped at that time.45

Like the exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity that was put on in the ICA in London in 1968 (four reviews of which were published in the Croatian press), tendencies 4 and the digital art shown for the first time aroused great public interest in Zagreb. The 1969 t4 exhibitions were seen all told by about 10,000 visitors, and they were written of in the papers and spoken of in numerous radio and television broadcasts at home and abroad. It was to be seen that they affected the first generation of digital artists in Croatia. In accounts published in the Croatian press there were contrasting views, from those that were affirmative and praised the use of the computer in the light of social change, more suitable to socialist countries unburdened with tradition and oriented to the future, via texts for amusement with the title Computer draws in the Uncommon section, to critical accusations that the organisers were promoting a technocratic and consumerist art that, if it developed, would "come down on artistic individuality and subjective liberty."

Digital art was seen in as part of the NT in the context of the continuity of ideas already presented within the framework of NT and positioned more broadly in new contexts. Via a string of exhibitions, symposia and printed publications from 1968 to 1978, this NT phase is unique in world history for its continuous creation of context and the linking of the theory and the practice of digital art. Apart from continuing the NT idea of the combination of art and science with interactive (open) works and other themes described by Meštrović and other NT theorists, the use of computers in the context of visual and artistic research expanded the context of the understanding of the programme in art. The programme in art and programmed art (arte programmata), theoretically elaborated by Umberto Eco in 1962,46 was a frequent topic taken up by the numerous participants in the first phase of NT, and from now on could be located in the software itself, the computer programme. Flow diagrams and computer programmes were a component part of registrations for the part of the exhibition computers and visual research 1969. Documents concerning the working process were published in exhibition catalogues and in bit international (nine issues came out from 1968 to 1972, during and in between the events tendencies 4 and tendencies 5). New participants, scientists from universities and private and public corporations, most of them theoretically not thinking about art, unintentionally radicalised the ideas implicit in Constructivists, neo-Constructivist and Concrete Art: the central position of "idea", "structure" and "concept". The view point of Brazilian artist, an active participant of the NT, Waldemar Cordeiro, that computer art has taken the place of constructivist, can be followed through the history of the NT.47

computers and visual research, tendencies 4, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1969. Jonathan Benthall in front of the works of Petar Milojević [MCA]

computers and visual research, tendencies 4, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1969. [MCA]

computers and visual research, tendencies 4, symposium, Nancy A. Stephens (ARC – Art Research Center), Moša Pijade Workers’ University, Zagreb, 1969 [MCA]

Exhibition of publications, tendencies 4, ISIP, Zagreb, 1969 [MCA]

A selection of digital works from the tendencies 4 exhibition was shown once again in the Culture Centre of the City of Belgrade in 1969 and in 1971 in the Moša Pijade Workers' University in Zagreb, at an exhibition entitled computers and visual research, the outcome of collaboration between the Gallery of Contemporary Art and IRB occasioned by the 20th anniversary of the institute. An international seminar entitled Art and computers '7148 with 23 participants was held in the Moša Pijade Workers' University in Zagreb; among the exhibitors was Vladimir Bonačić. An international side exhibition was held in the Gallery of Contemporary Art, which also organised the events, while Vladimir Bonačić presented new luminous installations in public space in Zagreb.

The exhibition tendencies 5 was held in the Technical Museum (today Technical Museum Nikola Tesla), and consisted of three parts: "constructive visual research", "computers and visual research" and "conceptual art". The accompanying symposium which was also an AICA congress, was held in the Hotel International and was called Rational and Irrational in Visual Research Today.

In the conceptual art section, Sol Lewitt exhibited Wall Picture which was created by the hanging team according to textual instructions summed up in one sentence, which we can look upon as a programme (an algorithm of descriptive geometry expressed in writing).49 Also shown was the media-aware work I am still Alive of On Kawara, done in five identical telegraphic messages addressed in advance to Radoslav Putar, director of the Zagreb gallery and chair of the organising committee of tendencies 5. We can also consider the structure of this work a programme and for its materialisation the work used information and (tele)communications and was in terms of its content both institutional critique and first-person artist's speech.50

In the exhibition section computers and visual research, a new generation of digital artists presented their works. They included Groupe art et informatique de Vincennes of France, the Computation Centre of Madrid University and the Centro de arte y comunicación from the Argentine. As for Croatian artists, there were Vladimir Bonačić with the luminous object G.F. E (16.0) — NS, and Miljenko Horvat, Tomislav Mikulić and Vilko Žiljak with works of graphic art. As they did with Bonačić in 1968, the organisers again boldly opened up a high-quality international exhibition context for new Croatian artists. Physicist Vilko Žiljak at this exhibition for the first time showed his works, and the twenty-year-old student of the Academy of Fine Arts and of electrical engineering Tomislav Mikulić exhibited for the second time (after the Zagreb Salon of 1972).

From the early 19070s, art in Croatia and the region was characterised by a new generation of artists in various forms of conceptual art, body art, performance, mail art, environments and so on, later brought down to the common denominator of New Art Practice. After the first international network of the NT movement of the early 1960s, which included more than a hundred and fifty participants, and the second international network of digital art with more than a hundred participants in 1973, the NT opened up for a third network, this time regional, for artists, curators and theoreticians of the New Art Practice. In international terms, the tendencies 5 exhibition and symposium were a one-of-a-kind place in which participants of all three groups were in an open dialogue, characterised, on the whole, by mutual misunderstandings.51

The organisers of the NT attempted to link up various art practices via the understanding of the concept of the programme in the context of artistic work.52 Radoslav Putar, director of the Gallery, used the phrase "data processing" to describe the methods of conceptual art,53 although this possible link was never taken any further. Frieder Nake remarked on the similarity between digital and conceptual art at the level of "separation of head and hand", also being critical of this production structure following the logic of capitalism.54 Radoslav Putar and Boris Kelemen emphasised the importance of constructive and computer visual research, while the papers of Nena Dimitrijević and Marijan Susovski put forward positively inclined theses about conceptual art through the promotion of non-object and non-material art and the non-visual.55

The event tendencies 6 was planned for years, but ultimately was never held integrally; in 1978 just a symposium was held, called on the poster international meeting, t — 6 =art and society. The meet was organised by the Gallery of Contemporary Art and was held in the Centre for Culture and Information in Zagreb56, with four themes: "Culture and the changes in contemporary societies", "The human environment", "Creativity and the personality" and "Media and action". The poster listed the media of the presentations: "discussions, screenings, slides, video tapes". Taking part in the symposium were representatives of all three groups of NT artists. We can pick out Hans Haacke, who had himself in his early work used system theories, and only afterwards the methods of conceptual art. The only digital artists taking part were Vladimir Bonačić (Man, language and matter) and Jean-Claude Marquette. The idea of the organisers to re-examine social problems was clearly still in evidence, but art practice and the cultural and political trends of the time came down heavily on the side of conceptual art, which was vigorously to assert its discourse and establish the still dominant canons of contemporary art.57 Instead of the planned tendencies 6 exhibition, in parallel with the symposium, the Gallery of Contemporary Art put on an exhibition called New Artistic Practice 1966-1978, in which regional art of this orientation was presented in retrospect.

The impact of NT on Croatian digital artists was outstanding. NT was instrumental in the exhibition and publication of the early works of Ivan Picelj, Vladimir Bonačić, Tomislav Mikulić, Miljenko Horvat and Vilko Žiljak. All these authors in the following years were actively exhibiting at important international digital art exhibitions such as ARTEONICA, São Paulo, 1971 (Bonačić), Computer Art Exhibition, Toronto, 1971 (Horvat), Exposition internationale d\'art a l\'ordinateur, Montreal, 1972 (Horvat), Sigma 9, Contakt II, Bordeaux, 1973 (Bonačić, Žiljak), Ars Electronica, Linz, 1979 (Bonačić, Mikulić) and Computer Art, Tokyo, 1979 (Mikulić). Miljenko Horvat was co-publisher of the first album of computer art Art ex Machina (1972), Vladimir Bonačić organised the symposium The Interaction of Art and Science (Jerusalem, 1974), and Tomislav Mikulić was the curator of the international exhibition Computer Animation (Zagreb, 1980), in which it was mainly the numerous artists of the NT network that were featured.

tendencies 5: constructive visual research; computers and visual research; conceptual art, Technical Museum, Zagreb, 1973 [MCA]

tendencies 5: constructive visual research; computers and visual research; conceptual art, Technical Museum, Zagreb, 1973

bit international, no. 2, 1968, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb [MCA]

The Interaction of Art and Science, symposium, Jerusalem, 1974, organized by Vladimir Bonačić. Jonathan Benthall and Herbert W. Franke [BCD]

Social and critical dimension of digital art

Looking retrospectively at the beginning of digital art in the late 1960s, the 1970s and 1980s from the perspective of the contemporary art of the same period, we can see that what was missing in the digital art was that dimension of social criticism that in contemporary art was manifested by the political and socially committed artistic works prompted by feminist, left, queer or other emancipatory social movements. These influences set a mark on the mentioned historical period in the western world, and gradually globally too, being manifested in the new artistic trends such as Conceptual Art, Body Art, Land Art, institutional criticism, Community Art and other practices, making use on occasions of subversiveness for the sake of the aesthetic. In world terms, in the early digital art, there are very rare examples of open social engagement of subversive tactics.58 Probably the only example of socially engaged digital art in Croatia up to 1984 was a series of 35 posters named Palestine, a homeland denied, which in 1978 was produced by *bcd — cybernetic art team (Vladimir Bonačić, Miroljub Cimerman, Dunja Donassy)*.59 The exhibition in the Culture and Information Centre in Zagreb, 1979, was organised by the coordinating committee of RK SSRNH for assistance to liberation movements.60

The relation of art, science and technology, in dialogue with the historical and social context, is anyway interwoven into architecture and town planning. From the 1960s, Andrija Mutnjaković considered in his theory and practice the relation of machine and architecture, developing the concepts of kinetic architecture. In the design for a years-long reconstruction of the building of the Old City Town Hall in Zagreb, from 1970 to 1975, Mutnjaković used digital technologies in the design of parts of the interior, including slightly strange undulating ceilings. Parts of the total design of the interior that he designed were repurposed or changed. In the original design three chambers were kept, used by city representatives today. He also applied digital technologies in the design of the interior of the National and University Library of Kosovo in Prishtina (1971-1982).

Architect Velimir Neidhardt (1943) received a grant from the Zlatko and Joyce Baloković Foudation and spent an academic year, 1974-1975, at a special course of Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Part of his time was spent at MIT, where he got to know the work of Nicholas Negroponte, his Architecture Machine Group and the contemporary use of the computer in architecture. Mentored by Chuck Libby at the urban design and planning department of MIT in the spring of 1975 he published a paper, "Discourse for physical planning", about the application of the MIT computer programme. The study, along with descriptions of two proposals of possible application includes parts of the computer code and visualisations.61 In the Urbanistic Institute of Croatia in 1977, Neidhardt, in association with electrical engineer Damir Boras created and applied URBAN, the first digital language to be used for urban and spatial planning in Croatia.62 The computer programme was developed in Zagreb's MMC. URBAN enables "the planner/urban designer to described transformations of the environment, to specify his own depictions and to test out the environment on the basis of the selection of functional criteria, which were variable".63 It was applied in the spatial planning of Petrinja and Nova Gradiška. Since it was developed for the needs of spatial planning with the idea of cartographic superimposition and synthesis of spatial data (land use, gradient, number of inhabitants and so on) for the purpose of evaluating the suitability of the space for diverse planned purposes",64 Filip Šrajer sees it as a pioneering geographic information system (GIS) "founded on a raster model, created fifteen years before the first official GIS in Croatia."65 In 1978 Neidhardt got a master's degree on the basis of his Development of a model in the scientific method of urban planning,66 on the front cover of which he reproduced a visualisation that he had done in MIT in 1975 with their computer programme Discourse.

Other creators of digital art in Croatia took part in some aspects of activity of a wider social significance in roles that were not related to art but stemmed from their technical knowledge and applications of digital technologies. Vladimir Bonačić conceived and developed a digital multimedia library for the National and University Library in Zagreb from 1978 to 1979. For elections in Germany, bcd-cybernetic art team developed a technology for the dynamic depiction of graphs that depicted live the results in real time, applied in television reports from the elections in 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1987. The dynamic graphic that received data from a remote computer in real time is today standard for electronic media, but that from 1980 was a first in world terms. As research associates, Vilko Žiljak and Vlatko Čerić took part in a number of building operations with simulatory modelling of complex systems. Vilko Žiljak brought into the graphic industry a number of new technologies for security printing and used computer modelling and simulation while designing big industrial systems such as the Coking plant in Bakar (1973-1974), the Yugoslav Oil Pipeline (1979-1982) and Port of Rijeka (1979). Vlatko Čerić took part with digital technologies in the project for planning and managing the construction of Krško NPP where he led the information part of the project team. He also did a simulation of internal transport in Zagreb University Hospital, then being built (1985-1986).

Television was the medium most present in the second half of the 20th century, and the digital images most in evidence in Croatia up to 1984 were numerous TV graphics made by the author of the first digital art film (1975) Tomislav Mikulić. From 1980 he was head of the department of TV graphics at Zagreb Television (today Croatian Radio Television), right until 1992. Every day the News had his animations and he produced them very often for other broadcasts such as Saturday Night, Quizbox and such like. He did the first animated logo for Eurovision Song Contest in 1979, as well as an animation for the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984, which concludes the period covered by the present project.

Digital art after 1984

In spite of the rapid development and accessibility of digital technology the 1980s were not a successful decade for digital art. There was increasing use of software which, without any knowledge of programming, multimedia could use, which popularised the performance of numbers of "home" graphics and animations produced as hobby. A new subculture scene of socially engaged hackers and the widespread use of the PC throughout the richer part of the world did not essentially contribute to the discourses of contemporary art, and digital art almost vanished from the world art scene.

In a worldwide scale digital art is represented through exhibitions put on by the association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and its Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH, since 1974).67 In concert with its basic focus on industry and business, and information technology (IT), ACM/SIGGRAPH held competitions and gave out prizes for digital art, which were often more focused on technical excellence than on artistic and cultural achievements or the development of critical discourse. ACM SIGGRAPH started its artist exhibitions with Computer Culture Art in 1981, presenting computer graphics, which developed into research into interactive and robotic art entitled Machine Culture of 1993. At the other end of the spectrum was an art and culture scene that had been established by socially critical art groups all around the world, criticising the culture industry and power structures in general, with which the IT sector was closely connected (the military, for example).

At the turn of the 80s into the 90s media art once again came into global focus, particularly after the introduction of the graphic interface of the WWW on the Internet. In the western world, numerous institutions and journals appeared, with media laboratories, university departments, net platforms, conferences and festivals of (new) media art. This development can be followed in individual platforms, such as what is today the most long-lived festival of media art Ars Electronica, launched in Linz in 1979. Since 1987 Ars Electronica has organised Prix Ars Electronica, an annual competition in several categories, which have changed over the years. Still, electronic (new) media art seldom used digital technologies right up to the 1990s.

In the domestic context of the 1980s there was a similar situation; just a few artworks used or established hybrid digital technologies, as in the case of the Cathedral project, 1988, in the PM Gallery in Zagreb. In graphic design and in pre-press operations, digital technologies began to appear modestly no earlier than the mid-1980s. The graphic cards of the time were unable to process large formats of pixelated images, for the reproduction of a photograph on a large poster, for example.68 From 1991 on the whole of society and all artistic and cultural production was subject to special difficulties, in the war consequent on the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia. Prompted by the military aggression against Croatia, Tomislav Mikulić on his own initiative in 1991 did a series of animations that were broadcast on ORF, Austrian TV, and on Croatian National Television. At the first group exhibition in war-torn Croatia in November 1991, out of 69 artists, only he used hybrid digital graphic techniques.69 An example closer to media art was Young Croatian Electronic Films, a programme of video projections held in an Amsterdam cinema in January 1992 as part of an anti-war campaign.70 The programme presented eight new artistic video works of younger generation artists, only one of which partially used digital technology (the present author saw it in Amsterdam).71 Rare examples of digital art in the 1990s are listed in the A brief overview of media art in Croatia (since the 1960s) published on the Culturenet portal in 2002.72 The exhibition New Networks of New Media (2008) showed events in the area of culture and art of the new media in Croatia from 1990 to 2005 through three chronological lines: political, informational and artistic.73 Digital technologies were reasonably common in artistic production in Croatia only in the 21^st^ century, while in today's post-digital conditioning they are inevitable, at least in some aspect of artistic production or distribution.

At the turn of the 20th and 21^st^ century the most widespread everyday digital visuals in Croatia were the computer graphics that from 1994 were part of the design of banknotes.74 The naming and designing of banknotes were accompanied by numerous controversies. Let us begin with the naming. The Official Gazette, at the end of 1991, on the same day when the interim currency the Croatian dinar began to be circulated, published the "Decree on the National Bank of Croatia" in which in Article 34 it says: "The monetary unit of the Republic of Croatia is the Croatian Crown [Kruna], which is divided into 100 banica."75 Although in the competition for the design of the notes and in the naming of the prototypes of 1992 the currency was still named kruna / crown, it was only after the end of the competition and several subsequent changes to the design, that the kruna was,76 unbeknown to the public, renamed kuna [marten]. Let us recall what the cultural and political history of the kuna as monetary unit was.

The name derived from the use of marten skins as a means of exchange. It was first mentioned in the short redaction of Russkaya Pravda (11th century). From the 8th to the 10th century it was equivalent to one Arab dirham, and after of one western European denarius, which foreign traders would give in Russia for a single marten skin. In the Middle Ages in Croatia the marten skin was used as a means of exchange; it could be used to pay tax (kunovina or in Latin marturina). The figure of the kuna appeared on Croatian coinage (banovac or banica) in the 13th and 14th century. As monetary unit the kuna existed in the Independent State of Croatia (1941-45), when it was divided into 100 banica. In Partisan-controlled areas, bank notes issued or approved by ZAVNOH [i.e., the Partisan political arm] were printed denominated in kuna or in parallel in kuna and another currency (dinar, lire). In the process in which Croatian independence was achieved, the Yugoslav dinar was replaced at the end of 1991 by the interim currency the Croatian dinar, and on May 30, 1994, the kuna was introduced as the permanent Croatian currency.77

The renaming of the monetary unit was ratified only in 1994, like the course of the competition for the design of the banknote, can tell us something of the cultural and political context of the client and the spirit of the time at the beginning of the 1990s in war-torn Croatia. In the 1990s the ruling elite promoted a conservative aesthetic and (pseudo)historicism was present in the new visual representations of the state, many of which were designed by fine artist Miroslav Šutej (presidential and state coat of arms and flag). 78In 1992 at the competition for the design of the Croatian banknotes "several authors were invited, most of them painters and printmakers (Zlatko Jakuš, Rudi Labaš, Boris Ljubičić, Ivica Šiško, Zdravko Tišljar, Miroslav Šutej and Vilko Žiljak) and they were given just the very basic information: denominations and sizes of bank notes, and the head on the obverse and the city on the reverse. After the initial dissensions three art historians of various generations and profiles, Vera Horvat Pintarić, Matko Meštrović and Feđa Vukić were invited to the Commission for the selection of solutions for the new notes, together with the first finance minister, Marijan Hanžeković and Academician Dalibor Brozović, philologist and philatelist. The odd number of members of the commission was supposed to make sure of a decision, and the participation of three art historians the respect for the opinion of the profession". 79 For further elaboration, the approaches of Miroslav Šutej and Boris Ljubičić were selected. "But it was held against Šutej that his proposals had too many graphic elements, which created a confused and kitschy picture of the note and it was suggested that with Vilko Žiljak, who was even then involved in the computer generation of visual patterns and issues of the protection of securities, he should work it up and refine it."80 Šutej was a participant in the first NT phase, the generation of artists who brought play and a ludic factor into the rational framework of the NT in the mid-1960s, while Žiljak was a participant of the next NT phase, of the 1970s, of computers and visual research. In spite of the aesthetic potentials in the previous artistic works of both authors it appears that they did not manage to transmit their artistic experience successfully to the design of the banknotes.81 Art historian Jasna Galjer said about the design of the money that "from excessive desire to please and to leave out nothing, this computerised neo-historicism alas forgot that one of the first rules in the design of money was to avoid any involvement of state emblems."82 The media reported on the lack of transparency in the holding of the competition and published criticisms of the design of Croatian kruna banknotes, as well as of their reproduction.83 In spite of the opinion of the professional part of the jury, which preferred the more up-to-date design of the currency of Boris Ljubičić, this was not selected in the strange circumstances of the work of the jury,84 but "the final decision was made by Commission for the preparation of a proposal of the monetary system and the making of the banknotes of the Republic of Croatia, which on October 12, 1992, announced that the work of Miroslav Šutej (associates Šimun Šutej and Vilko Žiljak) had been adopted by a majority vote, while there was only one vote cast for the Ljubičić design. In the decision it was mentioned 'that the proposed solution of Mr Šutej should be further elaborated and could not in any way be considered final' and the design of the banknotes was subsequently remodelled."85

Behind the heads of the great figures and buildings, depictions of the set rules of the competition, in the middle ground of the Croatian k/r/una banknotes there were abstract motifs that made use of the repetition and permutation of basic geometrical shapes and a moiré effect. This methodology for producing the image derived from the visual vocabulary developed through the NT and was subsequently applied in the digital graphics of the 1960s. Digitally created abstract textures that were part of the design were probably the most widely dispersed digital visuals in Croatia. With the application of the 1960s NT aesthetic in the visual of the banknotes of the Croatian kruna or kuna in the early 1990s, in a quite opposite cultural and aesthetic context and historical moment, then, computers and visual research were caught up in the enchanted loop of the post-modern "wastelands of historical reality".86

Instead of a conclusion:
Power to the People vs Technology to the Nation!
0 : 0

At a global level, the NT synergy of science and art was reassessed in the 1990s, in a new combination of social activism, computer use and global network, when the same key words as in NT were recognised. Early digital art, which was a part of the NT, was reassessed only in the framework of the practice of media art in the late 1990s with the appearance of low-tech media art. This version of media art probably first began to look back at the past. Historically viewed, up to then the NT and quite all of the (new) media art practices looked towards the future and the most recent technical capacities. Considering the historical pathway of the first NT phase in retrospect (1961-1965), the words of Radoslav Putar of 1969 sound as if he were talking about media art in general: "since the NT were entirely oriented to the future and since implicit in them were elements of that future the negation of their own existence began under their aegis."87 Not guessing how the relations that he foresaw for the development of the culture industry and the violently marginalised position of Zagreb were to turn out accurate, in the same text, Putar mentions that the "germ of the phenomenon of that event (NT) was conceived, developed and emitted in this milieu" and that "there are already signs that both elements of provincial limitedness on one hand and cultural imperialism on the other, are very aggressively actually shrouding this in the fog of silence and preparing a definitive negation".88 In the case of the NT, it was the whole of Europe that became peripheral as against North America.89 It is forgotten in the meantime that the NT was not an exclusively Zagreb, Croatian or European cultural good, but belonged, irrespective of the so caricaturally restrictive territorial definition, to a large number of countries. The NT probably after all belong just to the international cultural community of the modernist inheritance of which it is the genuine fruit and part of history. After practitioners of media art and media culture of the 1990s, the academic reassessment of the NT started only in the 21^st^ century, looking at NT in the context of the history of contemporary art, and of the media art that is a substantial part of it.90 Today the theory, practice institutions, critiques, distribution, network, market and financial support and other aspects of the profession and its social position of what is called contemporary and what is called (new) media art only partially overlap.

The 1963 ideas of Matko Meštrović of 1963 about the scientification of art as beginning of the overall scientification of society took on new dimensions through the digital art of the 1960s. The chance was opened up for at last exiting the ghetto of art and making the lasting wish of avant-garde art that life and art be equated come true. The hope was justified since the new participants of digital art, in the nature of the task, were actively taking part in the information society, furthering its attainment through innovative development of software and hardware and their broad and creative application. Probably more than artists ever before, the early digital artists took part in the shaping of the (controversial) future of the information society that we live today. Unfortunately, in the 1960s and 1970s the historical moment for the building of a better world in association with scientific, corporate, military and state establishment, which was on the whole the sole proprietor of computer technology, was not very viable in the Cold War world, neither in the socialist nor in the capitalist countries, or in Yugoslavia, on the border line of these systems. In the anti-technological climate marked by the student protests of 1968, which certain participants of the first phase of the NT had already, previously, joined, as had almost all practitioners of conceptual art and similar new art practices, the development of the emancipatory potentials of technology were slowed down. The world would probably look different today if the PC had already been developed in the 1960s with a user-friendly interface that everyone could use. Perhaps the emancipatory ideas of the western world, Power to the People and the socialist idea of Technology to the Nation might have been combined. The organisers of the exhibition tendencies 6, which was not held, sent out in the mid-1970s about a hundred calls to video-activists worldwide, probably hoping to bridge the gap between technologically oriented artists and the political activism of the time; however there was insufficient response.91 The potential inherent in the personal computer, video activism and similar initiatives would probably have more successfully brought together the two currents of emancipatory ideas that aimed at the same objective, the betterment of society, if with essentially different sensibility and means of social change. These different ideas, if only briefly, had the chance to meet within the NT. Cybernetics as science about the laws of system, which it observes irrespective of their nature, among other effects of the 1960s, triggered awareness of the global ecology, as positive example of achieved synergy after different social discourses. It was not until the technological, social and cultural climate of the 1990s that enabled the blend of social activism, conceptual and media / digital art, the development of which we can follow in its continuum today.

Darko Fritz

Ted Nelson: Computer Lib / Dream Machines, Tempus Books, 1974

Technology to the People, the paper of Narodna tehnika, 1950

  1. The first systematic discussion of media art in Croatia is: Darko Fritz, Media Art, thematic segment, the portal Culturenet, 2002. It consists of the essays "A brief overview of media art in Croatia (since 1960s)" and two databases: Institutions, events, data bases and Publications. Accessed 1/7/2020, https://www.culturenet.hr/default.aspx?id=23004 

  2. Edward A. Shanken, "Art in the Information Age: Technology and Conceptual Art", Leonardo, Vol. 35, no. 4, 2002, pp. 433-438. 

  3. Christiane Paul, ed., A Companion to Digital Art, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. 

  4. Anne Collins Goodyear, "From Technophilia to Technophobia: The Impact of the Vietnam War on the Reception of \'Art and Technology\'", Leonardo, Vol. 41, no. 2, 2008, pp. 169—173. 

  5. A programme that among other things put forward the idea of cybernetic socialism: Armin Medosch, New Tendencies — Art at the Threshold of the Information Revolution (1971-1978), MIT Press, 2016. 

  6. In a TV commercial directed by Ridley Scott, after the staging of a scene from the novel, the message appeared: "On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you will see why 1984 will not be like \'1984\'". Accessible at <www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIE-5hg7FoA> Accessed 24/1/2020. 

  7. Edward A. Shanken, "Contemporary Art and New Media: Digital Divide or Hybrid Discourse?", A Companion to Digital Art, ed. Christiane Paul, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, pp. 463—481. 

  8. Emphasised graphically in this introductory text are just the names of the leading figures of early digital art in Croatia. 

  9. Milan Mesarić, Suvremena znanstveno tehnička revolucija, Economics Institute, Zagreb, 1971, pp. 58. 

  10. Igor Duda, "Tehnika narodu! Trajna dobra, potrošnja i slobodno vrijeme u socijalističkoj Hrvatskoj", Trajna dobra i slobodno vrijeme u socijalističkoj Hrvatskoj, God. 37, no. 2, 2005, pp. 373. 

  11. Ibid

  12. Ibid

  13. Zvonimir Jakobović, "Tehnička kultura i ABC tehnike", ABC tehnike, no. 600, 2016, Hrvatska zajednica tehničke kulture, Zagreb, pp. 11—13. Accessible at https://issuu.com/zoran1002/docs/abc_600_web/12. Accessed 1/7/2020. 

  14. For amateur film making and he experimental film in GEFF: Petra Belc Krnjaić, Poetika jugoslavenskoga eksperimentalnoga filma 1960-ih i 1970-ih godina, PhD dissertation, Zagreb: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2020.  

  15. Ibid, pp. 14. For more about technical culture in Croatia: Antun Petak, Tehnička kultura u Hrvatskoj: od početaka tehničkog amaterizma i znanstvenog i tehničkog opismenjavanja do Hrvatske zajednice tehničke kulture, Zagreb: Hrvatska zajednica tehničke kulture, 1992. 

  16. "Computers and visual research, jury decision about the competition", tendencies 4, exhibition catalogue, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1970, n.p. 

  17. Damir Boras, Branimir Makanec, Priručnik za nastavu pomoću kompjutora u multimedijskom centru škole, Referalni centar Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 1976. (96 pp.). 

  18. Projekt Katedrala, Wikipedia, authors of the concept were Boris Bakal, Darko Fritz, Stanko Juzbašić, Ivan Marusić-Klif and Goran Premec. Accessed 1/8/2020, https://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projekt_Katedrala 

  19. Damir Boras, Branimir Makanec, Univerzalno školsko elektroničko računalo KAG—A2, Ivasim/Velebit, Zagreb, 1980 (160 pp.). 

  20. 1985 — 1986, ORAO 64, 1986 — 1989 ORAO+. 

  21. Vilko Žiljak, structured interview, Darko Fritz, 2020. 

  22. Tomislav Mikulić, "Znaš da je Tani kupio kompjuter?", Tanhofer, ed. Diana Nenadić and Silvestar Kolbas, Hrvatski filmski savez, Društvo hrvatskih filmskih redatelja, Zagreb, 2016, pp. 273. 

  23. "Filmografija Vladimira Peteka, Petek — Inova", Hrvatski filmski ljetopis, no. 36, 2003, pp. 36—37. 

  24. DIY: do it yourself; DIWO: do it with others

  25. Branimir Makanec, Kako je nastao robot TIOSS, digital text document, 2020. (?), unpublished. 

  26. Ibid

  27. Ljiljana Kolešnik, "Zagreb as the location of International Art Movement New Tendencies (1961—1973)", Jérôme Bazin, Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, Piotr Piotrowski (ed.), Art beyond Borders. Artistic Exchange in Communist Europe (1945—1989), Budapest, CEU Press, 2016, pp. 311—323. 

  28. Ljiljana Kolešnik, "Decade of freedom, hopes and illusions. Yugoslav society of the 1960\'s a framework of New Tendencies rational utopia", Radovi instituta za povijest umjetnosti, Zagreb, no. 34, 2010, pp. 221—224. 

  29. Darko Fritz, "Nove tendencije", Oris, no. 54, X, Arhitekst, Zagreb, 2008, pp. 176—191. 

  30. Ljiljana Kolešnik, Artur Šilić, Nikola Bojić, "Rekonstrukcija osobne mreže Almira Mavigniera i njezina relacija prema prvoj izložbi Novih tendencija. Primjer primjene mrežne analize i mrežnih vizualizacija u povijesti umjetnosti", Život umjetnosti, no. 99, 2016, Zagreb, pp. 58—79. 

  31. Matko Meštrović, untitled, Nove tendencije 2, exhibition catalogue, Galerija suvremene umjetnosti, Zagreb, 1963. Subsequently published under the title "Ideologija Novih Tendencija" in the book Matko Meštrović: Od pojedinačnog općem, Mladost, Zagreb, 1967, and DAF, Zagreb, 2005. Also see the essay of Matko Meštrović, "Scijentifikacija kao uvjet humanizacije", 1963, published in the book Od pojedinačnog općem, Mladost, Zagreb, 1967, and DAF, Zagreb, 2005. 

  32. Ivan Rupnik, "Programmed Architecture, on the Cold War\'s Periphery, Vjenceslav Richter, Synturbanism, and the New Tendencies", In the Distance, *research-in-progress 2010 Proceedings of the Graduate School Conference, ed. Ana María León and Alla Vronskaya, Puritan Press, Cambridge, 2011, pp. 22—28. 

  33. For computer visual research in the NT see: Darko Fritz: "Amnesia International", I am still Alive, Mi2, Zagreb, 2000.; "Amnesia International — Early computer art and Tendencies movement", Bitomatik — Art practice in the time of information/media tion, kuda.org, Novi Sad, 2004, pp. 23—30; Herbert W. Franke, "Nove tendencije u Zagrebu", ed. Thobias Hoffman and Rasmus Kleine, Die Neuen Tendenzen — Eine europäische Künsterbewegung 1961-1973, Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingoldstadt, 2006.; Cristoph Klütsch, "Computer Graphic-Aesthetic Experiments between Two Cultures", Leonardo, Vol. 40, no. 5, 2007, pp. 432—425; Margit Rosen, Darko Fritz, Marija Gattin, Peter Weibel (eds.), A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer's Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961-1973, ZKM, Karlsruhe / MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2011.; Armin Medosch, New Tendencies — Art at the Threshold of the Information Revolution (1971 - 1978), MIT Press, 2016. 

  34. Boris Kelemen, untitled, computers and visual research, catalogue of an exhibition in the Moša Pijade Workers' University, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1970, n. p. 

  35. Computerart, February 1968, Dům umění města, Brno, March 1968, Oblastní galerie vysociny, Jihlava, April 1968, Oblastni galerie vytvarného umění, Gottwaldov, all in Czechoslovakia. 

  36. Matko Meštović, "O situaciji", bit international, no. 3, City of Zagreb Galleries, Zagreb, 1968, pp. 43. 

  37. May 5 to August 30, 1969 

  38. In 1969, ISIP was located at Savska 18 in Zagreb, on the floor of Hall B of today\'s Technical Museum Nikola Tesla (where it had been since 1959). "The International Permanent Exhibition of Publications" (ISIP) is a unique exhibition institution that acquires, processes and exhibits foreign professional literature from all areas of human knowledge and skills free of charge. The first exhibition of the Permanent Exhibition of Foreign Scientific and Professional Literature was opened on November 25, 1951 in a building of the Technical Faculty of the University of Zagreb, and was given its current name in 1957. (...) Since 1967, ISIP has been one of the departments of the Referral Centre of the University of Zagreb and, then, of the Institute of Information Sciences. Since 1996, it has been operating in the National and University Libraries in Zagreb...", "International permanent exhibition of publications", Croatian encyclopaedia, online edition. Lexicographic Institute Miroslav Krleža, 2020. Accessed 13/9/2020, http://www.enciklopedija.hr/Natuknica.aspx?ID=27645 

  39. Radoslav Putar, untitled, tendencije 4, Zagreb, Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1970, n. p. 

  40. Hyde, Gordon; Benthall, Jonathan; Metzger, Gustav, "Zagreb Manifesto, bit international 7", Božo Bek (ed.), Galerije grada Zagreba, Zagreb, 1971, pp. 4, and Studio International, London. June 1969. Audio archives of the MCA, Zagreb, from the translation into Croatian by Darko Fritz. 

  41. Ibid

  42. Ibid

  43. Gustav Metzger, "Five Screens with Computer", tendencies 4, exhibition catalogue, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, n. p. 

  44. In association with various IT experts Metzger calculated and programmed the rhythm and patterns of destruction of five big panels to be placed in an urban environment. 

  45. Darko Fritz, "International Networks of Early Digital Arts", A Companion to Digital Art, ed. Christiane Paul, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, pp. 46—68, and Christoph Klütsch, The summer 1968 in London and Zagreb: Starting or end point for computer art? Proceedings of the 5th conference on Creativity & cognition, London, 2005, pp. 109—117. 

  46. Umberto Eco, Opera aperta, Bompiani, 1962. 

  47. " Constructivism belongs to the past, its content corresponding to the palaeocybernetic age is computer art", a quote from Waldemar Cordeiro: "Analogical and/or Digital Art, reader" symposium t-5, Rational and Irrational in Visual Research Today, June 2, 1973, Galleries of the City of Zagreb, Zagreb. 

  48. 26 — 27 June 1971. 

  49. "A straight line from the midpoint of the left side of the page through the center toward the midpoint of the right side", Sol Lewitt, "Wall drawing", tendencije 5, exhibition catalogue, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1973, n. p. 

  50. Ines Bauer, "Konzeptuelee Tendenzen. Ergänzung der \'Visuellen Forschun\' — Öffnung der Neuen Tendenzen", ed. Thobias Hoffman and Rasmus Kleine, Die Neuen Tendenzen — Eine europäische Künsterbewegung 1961-1973, Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingoldstadt, 2006, pp. 73—79. 

  51. Darko Fritz, "Histories of Networks and Live Meetings—Case Study: [New] Tendencies, 1961-1973 (1978)", Relive: Media Art Histories, ed. Sean Cubitt and Paul Thomas, MIT Press, 2013, pp. 99—118. 

  52. Darko Fritz, "Notions of the Program in 1960s Art — Concrete, Computer-generated and Conceptual Art", address at the symposium Art-oriented programming 2 (Programmation orientée-art 2), Amphithéâtre Richelieu, Sorbonne, Paris, October 20, 2007. Published as: Darko Fritz, "La notion de « programme » dans l'art des années 1960 — art concret, art par ordinateur et art conceptuel", Art++, ed. David-Olivier Lartigaud, Editions HYX (Architecture-Art contemporain-Cultures numériques), Orléans, 2011, pp. 26—39, and Darko Fritz, "Notions of the Program in 1960s Art — Concrete, Computer-generated and Conceptual Art / Program jako koncepcja w sztuce lat 60. XX w. — sztuka konkretna, komputerowa i konceptualna", The Art+Science Meeting, ed. Ryszard W. Kluszczyński, LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, 2016, online edition. 

  53. Radoslav Putar, untitled, tendencies 5, exhibition catalogue, Zagreb: Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1973, n. p. 

  54. Frieder Nake, "The Separation of Hand and Head", Computer Art, 9 pages, reader of the symposium Rational and Irrational in Visual Research Today, t—5, June 2, 1973, Gallery of Contemporary Art Zagreb, n. p. 

  55. In: tendencies 5, exhibition catalogue, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1973, and audio archive of the symposium Rational and Irrational in Visual Research Today, t—5, June 2, 1973, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb. 

  56. October 13 to 14, 1978. 

  57. For example, in a similar general survey, Art since 1900, by Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H.D: Buchloh, Thames and Hudson, New York, 2004, NT was not even mentioned, apart from a tiny reference in the mention of participants of GRAV in the significantly recontextualising chapter entitled "French Conceptualist Painting". 

  58. Darko Fritz, "Agents of Social and Political Change in 1960s and 1970s Digital Art", Histories of the Post Digital (reader), ed. Ekmel Ertan, Akbank Sanat / Amber Platform, Istanbul, 2015, pp. 31—63. 

  59. Palestina, oduzeta i negirana domovina, Studio galerije Forum, Zagreb Culture & Information Centre, 1979. 

  60. RK SSRNH: Republička konferencija Socijalističkog saveza radnog naroda Hrvatske [Republican conference of the socialist alliance of the working people of Croatia] 

  61. Velimir Neidhardt, The possible application of Discourse in: 1. The simulation of Household\'s Location Decision 2. The simulation of Large Retail Facilities\' Location, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 11.85 Special Topics in Computer Application, Assistant Professor Chuck. J. Libby, Spring 1975. 

  62. Velimir Neidhardt, Damir Boras, "Upotreba kompjutera u urbanističkom i prostornom planiranju — Meta jezik URBAN", Zbornik simpozija "Regionalno i prostorno planiranje", Jugoslovenski institut za urbanizam i stanovanje, Belgrade, 1977, pp. 121—157. 

  63. Velimir Neidhardt, "Stvaranje kompjutorskog jezika za potrebe urbanističkog i prostornog planiranja", Arhitektura, no. 172—3, 1980, pp. 95. 

  64. Filip Šrajer, Suvremene tehnologije dokumentiranja i analize izgrađenog okoliša, seminar paper, doctoral course in architecture, Architecture Faculty, Zagreb University, Zagreb, 2018, pp. 4. 

  65. Ibid. A GIS is a digital system for collecting, storing, processing, analysis, management and presentation of spatial information. Its basic methodological concept is the linking of the spatial position of some structure or phenomenon with data that describe its condition or property. Stefan Lang and Thomas Blaschke, Analiza krajolika pomoću GIS-a, Požega, ITD Gaudeamus, 2010 

  66. Velimir Neidhardt, "Razvoj modela u znanstvenoj metodi urbanističkog planiranja", master's dissertation, Zagreb University, 1978. Published in: Misao u arhitekturi: Velimir Neidhardt, ed. Alen Žunić, Zagreb, 2018. 

  67. Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques. 

  68. They might perhaps have been able to generate large vector graphic images. 

  69. Za obranu i obnovu Hrvatske, exhibition catalogue, Art Pavilion, Zagreb, November 1991. 

  70. MI ZA MIR, Croats & Serbs unite against the war in Croatia and the spread of violence to the rest of Yugoslavia, January 3 to 5, 1992, Melkweg, Amsterdam, programme booklet, n. p. 

  71. Slobodan Jokić, Noah and the ceremony on the water, U-MATIC video 1991. In Montevideo, an Amsterdam studio, an 8 mm film was telecined, in the video production an animation made on an Amiga 2000 was incorporated, and the final result was produced in U-MATIC analogue video system. 

  72. Darko Fritz, "A brief overview of media art in Croatia (since 1960s)", Culturenet, 2002. Accessed 1/7/2020, https://www.culturenet.hr/default.aspx?id=23004 

  73. Galerija Galženica, Zagreb, curator Klaudio Štefančić. Accessed 1/7/2020, <http://galerijagalzenica.info/node/2065\ 

  74. Vilko Žiljak and associates were responsible for digital techniques being used in the design of Republic of Croatia documents such as passports, citizenship certificates and identity cards in the Croatian Printing Institute in Zagreb in 1991. 

  75. "Uredba o Narodnoj banci Hrvatske", Narodne novine, no. 71, December 23, 1991. 

  76. " A contract was signed on April 5, 1993, for the manufacture of the Croatian crown notes with Germany's Giesecke and Devrient firm, which at that time printed German marks... design and colour were harmonised with the D-mark... they are more like copies of marks than the original designs of Šutej." Hrvatska kruna i banica. Accessed 1/8/2020, http://www.kunalipa.com/katalog/povijest/hrvatska-kruna-3.php 

  77. "Kuna", Hrvatska enciklopedija, online edition, Leksikografski zavod Miroslav Krleža, 2020. Accessed 15/10/2020, http://www.enciklopedija.hr/Natuknica.aspx?ID=34619

  78. Šutej's design for the first postage stamp of 1991 was digitalised and pre-pressed by Tomislav Mikulić (making use of 3 D Studio) 

  79. Dejan Kršić, Marko Golub, Ora Mušćet, "Kontinuirana istraživanja Matka Meštrovića", Praksa teorije / Matko Meštrović i dizajn, Hrvatsko dizajnersko društvo, Zagreb, 2020, p. 51. 

  80. Ibid

  81. By way of comparison, a series of Dutch banknotes with computer graphics was designed by Ootje Oxenaar between 1966 and 1985, where the figurative depictions of historical figures on the face were in 1977 replaced by plants and animals, and on the reverse by abstract computer-generated images. Only abstract motifs were used in the four notes that were designed between 1989 and 1997 (Jaap Bolten, the Nederlandse bankbiljet 1814-2002: vormgeving en ontwikkeling, the Nederlandsche Bank, Primavera Press, Leiden, 199). Ideology is still present (the self-sufficient abstraction of capital, the tautological power of money itself), but the repressive representation of power, usually so much present in currency design, is avoided. (Darko Fritz, "Kultura grafičkog oblikovanja u Nizozemskoj", 34th Zagreb Salon, exhibition catalogue, ed. Jasna Galjer and Nevena Tudor, HDLU, Zagreb, 1999, n. p.; side exhibition of the salon Kultura grafičkog oblikovanja u Nizozemskoj, November 19 — December 25, 1999, Galerija Karas, Zagreb, curator Darko Fritz) 

  82. Jasna Galjer, "Nova hrvatska kruna", Kontura, 1992, p. 38. 

  83. Sanja Modrić, "Hrvatska kruna kruži Zagrebom", Slobodna Dalmacija, July 12, 1992, p. 7; Maja Razović, "Kako je Šutej osvojio krunu?", Nedjeljna Dalmacija, October 14, 1992, p. 34. 

  84. Meštović and Vukić voted for Ljubičić's entry while Horvat Pintarić either left the jury or abstained, which is not known to the public. The other two members voted for the Šutej version. 

  85. As in n. 79, p. 52. 

  86. A reference to a book written by Franjo Tuđman, Bespuća povijesne zbiljnosti, Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske, Zagreb, 1989. 

  87. Radoslav Putar, untitled, tendencies 4, exhibition catalogue, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 1970. 

  88. Ibid

  89. It is interesting to observe American arrogance embodied in the words of Frank Stella: "The GRAV actually painted all the patterns before I did — all the basic designs that are in my paintings (...) I didn't know about it, and in spite of fact that they used those ideas, those basic schemes, it doesn't have anything to do with my paintings", radio interview of 1964, transcript in Artnews, September 1966, quoted from Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H.D: Buchloh, Art since 1900, Thames and Hudson, New York, 2004. 

  90. Ljiljana Kolešnik, "The Transition of New Tendencies from Neo-Avant-Garde Subculture to Institutional Mainstream Culture. An Example of Network Analysis", 2018, Modern and Contemporary Artists\' Networks. An Inquiry into Digital History of Art and Architecture, pp. 84—122. 

  91. Probably video-activists did not think galleries suitable places for the presentation of their works, preferring work in the community. The history of video-activism from the 1960s to the 1980s has still not been studied consistently.