Book (2)

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Art, culture and technology in Central and Eastern Europe

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." (Buckminster Fuller)

MONOSKOP book project examines the social context of historical developments in media arts in Central and Eastern Europe. Analysis of sociopoetic conditions of art and technology crossings from 1960s to 2000s draws upon the undertakings in experimental and avantgarde film, performance art, computer art, video art, experimental music, sound art, and media theory. The objective is to create an educational material for students and educators across media art and culture departments, as well as a reference network for theoreticians and critics to assist them in development of the theoretical discourse on new media art in the Central and Eastern Europe.

Content structure idea[edit]

we are working with four sections, roughly ordered by time:

I. historical perspectives[edit]

pioneering work between art and technologies. there are several blocks for various disciplines: early computer art, early electronic music, early robotic art, etc. for each block we want to select artist and or artwork with a radical approach, being an inspiration for coming generations. (mostly 1960s)

II. intermedia art collectives[edit]

here we want to look into collaborative strategies, having collectives consisting of sculptors, technicians, painters, filmmakers, etc. this section will contain short monographies of the collectives from warsaw, zagreb, moscow, bratislava, arad (moreless 1960s-70s).

III. media cultures[edit]

here we jump into 1990s, when technologies got much more accessible (economically cheaper and politically neutral), thus allowing the culturalisation of the field of media arts: first (independent) media labs, boom of media art education, 'laptop' art (a/v projects), open source projects, media activism. it would be very hard to select particular initiatives for interviews on one hand, and to cover the field in essay style on the other. so we are thinking about 'oral histories' approach. for each block we want to ask 10-15 people from (geografically and institutionally) different organisations and with different perspective (artists, programmers, managers, cultural politicians, public) to come up with 'oral histories', 'personal memories' from their activities, in sort of anecdotal style.

IV. chronologies[edit]

we want to ask individuals (theoreticians, artists, curators, organisers) from each country (yes, the question remains what countries should be included and which not) to propose up to ten major events and phenomena from the media art history of their country. these may include exhibitions, conferences, workshops, publications, journals, video-journals, foundations of art departments, technological inventions, art servers, which they consider important. in this way we want to build up the chronology of media art in CEE.



I. Historical perspectives[edit]

Format: selected essays / interviews.
Editor: Lenka Dolanova

Cybernetics and computing[edit]

  • Overview of developments in cybernetics and computing in CEE from 1960s to 1980s.
  • Preliminary research: link
  • Articles:
    • From the book “Soviet Computing” by Boris Malinovsky (online at
    • From the book “Setun Conspiracy”
    • Or from

(?) Experimental networks[edit]

  • Keywords: hypertext, internet, university networks, company networks

Computer art[edit]

  • Keywords: computer film, interactive installations

Television / video / radio / film[edit]

Electronic and electroacoustic music[edit]

  • Keywords: electroacoustic music studios, music synhesizer.
  • Consult with Milan Adamčiak (via Michal Murin)
  • Articles:
    • Article about Arsenyi Avramov (Murzin and Artemiev were his students) – ask Andrei Smirnov.
    • Interview with Eugene Murzin, inventor of music synthesizer (ANS)
    • Interview with Edward Artemyev (online at

(?) Synaesthesia – image and sound interferences and audiovisual studies[edit]

Robotic art[edit]

  • Consult with Peter Beyls (he did PhD on Ihnatowicz and attended New Tendencies)
  • Articles:
    • Edward Ihnatowicz: Portrait of the Artist as an Engineer (1988). synopsis from unpublished book about “how an artist become involved in high technology”. (online)
    • or: Edward Ihnatowicz: Towards a Thinking Machine (1975, online)

(?) Algorithmic poetry and literature[edit]

II.Intermedia art collectives[edit]

Format: selected biographies / monographies / interviews / manifestos / statements.
Preliminary research: link and link
Editor: Dusan Barok

(?) Exat 51 (Zagreb, 1950-56)[edit]

  • Article: select article from 2001's catalogue

Open Form (Warsaw, 1950s-70s)[edit]

  • Article: select article from 2005's catalogue on Oskar Hansen

New Tendencies (Zagreb, 1961-73)[edit]

  • Article: by Darko Fritz

Dvizheniye (Moscow, 1962-74)[edit]

  • Articles:
    • Vyacheslav Koleychuk: “The Dvizhenyie Group. Toward a Synthetic Kinetic Art” Leonardo (1994) (online)
    • Lev Nusberg: “Cybertheater” Leonardo (1969) (online)
    • “Manifesto of the Russian Kineticists” (1966)
    • Experimental studio of Slovak Radio (1965-, Bratislava)
  • Articles: select article from Vladimír Godár (ed.): Slovenská elektroakustická hudba (1996) (Slovak) (online)

(?) ARGO (Moscow, 1970-75)[edit]

  • Article: Francisco Infante: “Artificially Created Spaces: The Projects and Realizations of the ARGO Group” The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts (1987) (online)

Kinema Ikon (Arad, 1970-2005)[edit]

  • Article: George Sabau: “Contextual history of Kinema Ikon” (2005) (online)

III. Media Cultures[edit]

  • Format: oral histories, eg. personal memories – in order to represent the points of view of all involved parties: artists, curators, engineers, cultural workers, cultural politicians, and public.
  • Editors: Nina Czegledy, Dusan Barok, Guy van Belle

Media lab culture[edit]

  • Idea of laboratory. Place studies. What are the new experimental models for labs?
  • Keywords:, third sector, Soros.
  • Preliminary research: link
  • Respondents: RIXC (Rasa and Raitis Smits, Latvia), Theremin Centre (Andrey Smirnov, RU), (Zoran Pantelic/Kristian Lukic, YU), C3 (HU), E-Media centre (EE), MediaArtLab (Tatiana Goryucheva, RU), WRO (Piotr Krajewski, PL), Ljudmila (Marko Peljhan/Vuk Cosic, SL), NoD (Danny Holman, CZ), Mama (Zeljko Blace, CR), (BA), BURUNDI (Maria Riskova, SK), LABoratory (Petr Svarovsky, CZ), Jeleni (Milos Vojtechovsky, CZ), Kitchen (Adam Somlai-Fischer, HU), MoKS (John Grzinich, EE), MediaLab Tallinn (Mare Tralla, EE), Media Art Lab Kiev (UA), Cyland (RU), ....?

Media art education[edit]

  • What are the new models for media/art education?
  • Keywords: video and intermedia ateliers/departments, workshops, independent education, VkHUTEMAS, Muhely, media education, archives, Vygotsky's legacy.
  • Preliminary research: link
  • Respondents: Rasa Smite (LEF, Latvia), Szabolcs KissPal (LEF, HU), Ana Peraica (LEF, CR), Boryana Dragoeva (LEF, BG), Milos Vojtechovsky (LEF, CZ), Alexandru Patatics (LEF, RO), Nomeda+Gediminas Urbonas (LT), ....?

FLOSS and free culture[edit]

  • Can we translate FLOSS principles into cultural practices?
  • Keywords: art servers, open source, open hardware, open wireless networks, copyleft.
  • Respondents: Ján Husár (SKOSI, SK), Petko Dourmana (Interspace, BG), Maxigas (HU), Alek Tarkowski (Creative Commons, PL), ....?

Experimental media art[edit]

  • Keywords: collaborative performances, interactive installations,, radio art, hardware hacking, DIY electronics, graphical programming and synthesis, Pure Data, Max/MSP, hive networks,, Vjing.
  • Preliminary research: link
  • Respondents: Kyd Campbell (MD/BG), Zden Hlinka (SK), Andrey Savitsky (Belarus), Agoston Nagy (HU), John Grzinich (US/EE), Janos Sugar (HU), Marko Peljhan (SL), Guy van Belle (BE/SK), ....?

Media activism[edit]

  • Keywords: Hack meetings, nbusr123, human rights, corruption, autonomous zones, tactical media, cultural critique, subversive strategies, protest, neoliberalism.
  • Respondents: Joanne Richardson (RO), Apsolutno (YU), CUKT (PL), Hysteria (SK), Prelom magazine (YU), Center for Cultural Decontamination (YU), Marina Grzinic (SL), Grzegorz Klaman (PL), Zamir BBS system + Arkzin (Boris Buden, CR), Nettime (Pit Schultz, DE), Syndicate/V2, ....?

IV. Chronology[edit]

Format: short descriptions of major art-related events and phenomena (exhibitions, conferences, workshops, publications, journals, video-journals, foundations of art departments, technological inventions, art servers, etc). Ask three or more persons (artists, curators, organisers, theoreticians, engineers) from each country to propose up to 10 major events from local media art history, and include the ones mentioned at least by two persons.
Editor: Eva Krátká

  • Albania – Edi Muka? (via Nina and Lindart?)
  • Belarus – Andrei Savitsky (via Guy―, and from university: Tatiana and Elvira:,,,,
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – someone from (via Shelbatra Jashari)
  • Bulgaria – Galia Dimitrova (, Interspace, via Guy)
  • Croatia – Darko Fritz
  • Czech Republic (preliminary research: link) – Miloš Vojtěchovský
  • Estonia – Mare Tralla (E-media centre)?
  • Georgia – Wato Tsereteli (ex-Maf; lives now in Berlin)
  • Hungary (preliminary research: link) – Nina Czegledy, Sugar Janos
  • Latvia – Rasa and Raitis Smits (RIXC)
  • Lithuania – Renata Sukaityte (via conference)?
  • Macedonia – (via Junior/Annemie)
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro – (via Bojan)
  • Poland (preliminary research: link) – Ryszard Kluszczynski?, Grzegorz Klaman, Violetta and Piotr Krajewski?
  • Romania – George Sabau
  • Russia (preliminary research: link) – Andrei Smirnov? Olga Goriunova? Tatiana Goryucheva?
  • Serbia (and Vojvodina) – Zoran Pantelic
  • Slovakia (preliminary research: link) – Michal Murin, Katarina Rusnakova
  • Slovenia – Marina Grzinic?
  • Ukraine – Katya Stukalova (via Umelec magazine) ?

Inclusion of more countries is to be discussed in the board.

  • (?) Armenia - Edward Balassanian (ACCEA)?
  • (?) Austria
  • (?) Azerbaijan
  • (?) Greece – Daphne Dragona (, via Guy) is doing her PhD in Athens at the moment
  • (?) Kazakhstan – (via Milos?)
  • (?) Kosovo - (via Shelbatra Jashari)
  • (?) Turkey – (via Nat Muller?)

Proposal for circle of contributors and consultants[edit]


  • February/March 2009: setup the board
  • 15 March: deadline for IVF Standard Grants
  • 22 March: editorial board meeting #1 in Prague (during COOP workshop)
  • 1 May: editorial board meeting #2 (where?)
  • 1 June: selection of articles and visual material for sections I and II finished
  • 1 June: text and visual material for sections III and IV finished
  • 1 July: copyrights solved
  • 1 August: editing finished
  • 15 August: translation and proof-reading finished
  • 1 November: layout and design finished
  • 1 December: book is printed
  • December: distribution
  • 2010: presentations (Bratislava, Gdansk, Prague, Budapest, etc)


Please feel free to contact us.


Coordination: Dusan Barok, db at societyofalgorithm dot org
Supported by Col-me,,
Supported by ERSTE Foundation,
Supported by Academy of Arts, Banská Bystrica,

Older version and further research[edit]

Current updated version[edit]