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.

Catherine Flood, Gavin Grindon (eds.): Disobedient Objects (2014)

3 March 2021, dusan

“This book explores the material culture of radical change and protest – from objects familiar to many, such as banners or posters, to the more militant, cunning or technologically cutting-edge, including lock-ons, book-blocs and activist robots. Focusing on social movements since 1980, the book features an introductory essay by the curators examining the history of objects in protest and activism, followed by six essays that look at particular objects, and the contexts in which they are used. It demonstrates how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design. Accompanies the V&A exhibition Disobedient Objects, July 2014 to February 2015.”

With essays by Mark Traugott, Anna Feigenbaum, Francesco Raparelli, David Graeber, Nicholas Thoburn, and Ana Longoni.

Publisher V&A Publishing, London, 2014
ISBN 9781851777976, 1851777970
144 pages

Exh. review: Richard Taws (West 86th, 2014).
Book review: Thomas Snow (Object, 2015).

Exhibition
Exhibition blog
WorldCat

PDF (63 MB)

Superstudio: Supersurface: An Alternative Model for Life on Earth (1972)

14 February 2021, dusan

“Produced for the 1972 Museum of Modern Art exhibition, Italy: The New Domestic Lanscape, Supersurface was the first of five films planned by Superstudio as a ‘critical reappraisal of the possibility of life without objects’. Superstudio envisioned a ‘network of energy and information extending to every properly inhabitable area’. According to the artists, this network would bring about the destruction of objects as status symbols, the elimination of the city as an accumulation of formal structures of power, and the end of specialized and repetitive work as an alienating activity. ‘The logical consequence,’ they write, ‘will be a new, revolutionary society in which everyone should find the full development of his possibilities’. Although only two of the films were ever completed, Superstudio published storyboards and texts for the entire project, entitled Five Fundamental Acts: Life, Education, Ceremony, Love and Death. Addressing the first of these five acts, Supersurface presents ‘an alternative model for life on earth’ in which the ‘network of energy and information’ is represented by grids and images of technology superimposed on a collage of natural and inhabited landscapes peopled by families engaged in domestic and leisure activities.”

9:30 minutes
via Radical Architecture, HT joost rekveld

Commentary: Superstudio (MoMA catalogue, 1972), Cristiano Toraldo di Francia (n.d.), Ross K. Elfline (Footprint, 2011).

WorldCat

WEBM