Margit Rosen, et al. (eds.): A Little-Known Story About a Movement, a Magazine, and The Computer’s Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961-1973 (2011)

10 April 2021, dusan

“When Zagreb was the epicenter of explorations into the aesthetic potential of the new “thinking machines.”

This book documents a short but intense artistic experiment that took place in Yugoslavia in the 1960s and 1970s but has been influential far beyond that time and place: the “little-known story” of the advent of computers in art. It was through the activities of the New Tendencies movement, begun in Zagreb in 1961, and its supporting institution the Galerija suvremene umjetnosti that the “thinking machine” was adopted as an artistic tool and medium. Pursuing the idea of “art as visual research,” the New Tendencies movement proceeded along a path that led from Concrete and Constructivist art, Op art, and Kinetic art to computer-generated graphics, film, and sculpture.

With their exhibitions and conferences and the 1968 launch of the multilingual, groundbreaking magazine Bit International, the New Tendencies transformed Zagreb—already one of the most vibrant artistic centers in Yugoslavia—into an international meeting place where artists, engineers, and scientists from both sides of the Iron Curtain gathered around the then-new technology. For a brief moment in time, Zagreb was the epicenter of explorations of the aesthetic, scientific, and political potential of the computer.

This volume documents that exhilarating period. It includes new essays by Jerko Denegri, Darko Fritz, Margit Rosen, and Peter Weibel; many texts that were first published in New Tendencies exhibition catalogs and Bit International magazine; and historic documents. More than 650 black-and-white and color illustrations testify to the astonishing diversity of the exhibited artworks and introduce the movement’s protagonists. Many of the historic photographs, translations, and documents are published here for the first time. Taken together, the images and texts offer the long overdue history of the New Tendencies experiment and its impact on the art of the twentieth century.”

Edited by Margit Rosen in collaboration with Peter Weibel, Darko Fritz, and Marija Gattin
Publisher ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, and MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011
ISBN 9780262515818, 0262515814
576 pages

Reviews: Brian Reffin Smith (Leonardo, 2012), Joanna Inglot (Slavic Review, 2012), Greg Borman (ARLIS/NA, 2011).

Book website
Exhibition (ZKM, 2008)
Publisher
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (102 MB)

See also New Tendencies and Bit International on Monoskop wiki.

Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties (2004)

18 September 2020, dusan

Lines of Resistance is a major collection of writings by and about Dziga Vertov. The book follows the development of his work and opinions from 1917 to 1930, and chronicles contemporary reactions to them, including such personalities as fellow directors Lev Kuleshov and Sergei Eisenstein, artists Aleksandr Rodchenko and Kazimir Malevich, and theorists Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer.”

Published on the occasion of the first comprehensive retrospective of the films of Dziga Vertov, presented at the 23rd edition of Le Giornate del cinema muto, Sacile, 2004.

Edited and with an Introduction by Yuri Tsivian
Translated by Julian Graffy
Publisher Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Gemona (Udine), 2004
ISBN 8886155158 9788886155151
xv+422 pages

Reviews: John MacKay (Film Quarterly, 2007), Bohdan Y. Nebesio (Canadian Slavonic Papers, 2007).

WorldCat

PDF (47 MB)

Boris Arvatov: Art and Production (1926–) [Russian, English]

23 July 2020, dusan

Boris Arvatov‘s Art and Production is a classic of the early Soviet avant-garde. Now nearing a century since its first publication, it is a crucial intervention for those seeking to understand the social dynamic of art and revolution during the period.

Derived from the internal struggles of Soviet Constructivism, as it confronted the massive problems of cultural transformation after ‘War Communism’, Arvatov’s writing is a major force in the split that occurred in the revolutionary horizons of Constructivism in the early 1920s. Critical of early Constructivism’s social-aesthetic process of art’s transformation of daily life – epitomised in studio-based painting, photography and object making – Arvatov polemicises for the devolution of artistic skills directly into the relations of production and the factory.

Whilst acknowledging the problems of a pure factory-based Productivism, Arvatov remains overwhelmingly committed to a new role and function for art outside the conventional studio and traditional gallery. Addressing issues such as artistic labour and productive labour, the artist as technician, art and multidisciplinarity and a life for art beyond ‘art’ – finding new relevance amidst the extensive social turn of contemporary participatory art – Art and Production offers a timely and compelling manifesto.”

Publisher Proletkult, Moscow, 1926
132 pages

English edition
Edited by John Roberts and Alexei Penzin
Introduction by John Roberts
Afterword by Alexei Penzin
Translated by Shushan Avagyan
Publisher Pluto Press, London, 2017
ISBN 9780745337364, 0745337368
160 pages

Reviews: Celluloid Liberation Front (Brooklyn Rail, 2017), Noel Halifax (Socialist Review, 2018).

Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

Iskusstvo i proizvodstvo (Russian, 1926, 45 MB)
Art and Production (English, 2017, EPUB; PDF, added 2020-8-6)