With the present exhibition, Bit International. [Nove] Tendencije – Computer And Visual Research, Zagreb 1961-1973, the ZKM in Karlsruhe dedicates itself to the most important international artistic currents of the 1960s, the New Tendencies, and their significance for the history of computer-based art.

In 1968 the movement decided to incorporate into its program the computer as a medium of artistic work so as to thereby assert its avantgarde claim and to contribute to the definition of a technology which, as one quite rightly presumed, would define the future of civilization.

Commencing with an exhibition of Concrete and Constructive Art, Nove tendencije, in Zagreb , in 1961, the New Tendencies rapidly developed into a dynamic movement dedicated to ‘visual research’. Around the mid 1960s, the New Tendencies triggered an international Op-Art-Boom, which was endorsed by participation in an exhibition entitled The Responsive Eye, at the New York MoMA, in 1965.

However, success brought the New Tendencies no closer to its aims: the assertion of ‘art as research’ and the establishment of new forms of distribution beyond the art market, which should be accessible to everyman. The organizers of the New Tendencies decided to bring their strategy up-to-date and, in the summer of 1968, initiated in the context of the fourth exhibition, Tendencije 4, the program ‘Computer and Visual Research’. Until 1973 the supporting institution of the New Tendencies, the former Gallery of Contemporary Art Zagreb – today the Museum of Contemporary Art – had dedicated itself to artistic research by computer with a series of international exhibitions and symposia. At the peak of the Cold War artists and scientists throughout the world presented their work in Zagreb . The New Tendencies thus established a unique platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences from the area of art, the natural sciences and engineering. With the multi-lingual journal Bit international (1968-73, 9 numbers) Zagreb became a point of initiation for aesthetics and media-theoretical thought.

The organizers of the Zabrab Tendencies initially sought to consciously accompany and form the historical transition in which the computer was perceived as medium of artistic creation. They set computer generated works in relation to Constructive and Kinetic Art (1968/69) and to Concept Art (1973). The arts of the electronic media were not considered as an isolated phenomenon but rather incorporated into the history and discourse of fine-and performing arts. ZKM is comitted to this principle and initiated an exhibition series in the Media Museum that started with The Algorithmic Revolution (2004) and is now be persued with Bit International.

In cooperation with the MSU | Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb and an international network of collectors and private archives, the exhibition provides an overview of the (New) Tendencies and its program ‘Computer and Visual Research’: graphics, paintings, films, sculptures as well as computer-generated lyrics and literature are once again, for the first time in 40 years, made accessible to a wider public.

Curated by Darko Fritz
Co-curated by Margit Rosen and Peter Weibel
Project direction: Bernhard Serexhe

The exhibition is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation


Featured artists

Marc Adrian • José Luis Alexanco • Kurd Alsleben/Cord Passow • Getulio Alviani • Giovanni Anceschi (Gruppo T) • Anonymous Collective • Marina Apollonio • Vojin Bakic • John Baldessari • Manuel Barbadillo • Otto Beckmann/Oskar Beckmann/Alfred Grassl • Jan Baptist Bedaux/Jeroen Clausman/Arthur Veen (Compos 68) • Alberto Biasi (Gruppo N) • Hartmut Böhm • Frank Böttger • Vladimir Bonacic • Davide Boriani (Gruppo T) • Rechenzentrum, Institut Boris Kidric • Martha Boto • Ennio Chiggio (Gruppo N) • Ivan Cižmek • Gianni Colombo (Gruppo T) • Waldemar Cordeiro / Jorge Moscati • Giovanni Antonio Costa (Gruppo N) • Wim Crowel • Carlos Cruz-Diez • Charles Csuri / James Shaffer • Dadamaino • Gerardo Delgado • Hugo Rudolfo Demarco • Gabriele De Vecchi (Gruppo T) • Milan Dobeš • Juraj Dobrovic • Piero Dorazio • Angel Duarte (Equipo 57) • Effekt • Darel Eschbach • Michel Fadat • Willam A. Fetter • Alan Marc France • Herbert W. Franke • David R. Garrison • Karl Gerstner • Rolf Glasmeier • Gorgona • Gerhard von Graevenitz • Hein Gravenhorst • Horacio Garcia-Rossi • Lily Greenham • Gruppo MID • Dieter Hacker • Leon D. Harmon • Grace C. Hertlein • Miljenko Horvat • Gottfried Jäger • Raimer Jochims • Sture Johannesson/Sten Kallin • Rudolf Kämmer • Hiroshi Kawano • On Kawara • Julije Knifer • Kenneth C. Knowlton • Hans Köhler • Edoardo Landi (Gruppo N) • Ben F. Laposky • Julio Le Parc • Sol LeWitt • Walter Leblanc • Auro Lecci • Wolfgang Ludwig • Heinz Mack • Frank Joseph Malina • Robert Mallary • Piero Manzoni • Enzo Mari • Jean-Claude Marquette (G.A.I.V.) • Manfredo Massironi (Gruppo N) • Almir Mavignier • Gustav Metzger • Leslie Mezei • Tomislav Mikulic • Petar Milojevic • Manfred Mohr • Jane Moon • François Morellet • Bruno Munari • Monique Nahas/ Hervé Huitric (G.A.I.V.) • Frieder Nake • Maurizio Nannucci • Georg Nees • A. Michael Noll • Koloman Novak • Lev Nusberg (Dvizenije) • OHO • Duane Palyka • Sergej Pavlin • Henk Peeters • Helga Philipp • Ivan Picelj • Otto Piene • Marko Pogacnik • Uli Pohl • Rogelio Polesello • Manuel Quejido • Zoran Radovic • Ludwig Rase • Karl Reinhartz • Vjenceslav Richter • Christian Roeckenschuss • Sylvia Roubaud/Gerold Weiss • Paolo Scheggi • Manfred R. Schroeder • Lillian Schwartz • Ana und Javier Segui • Nikola Sérman • Soledad Sevilla • Jesus Raphael Soto • Aleksandar Srnec • Joël Stein • Thomas Michael Stephens (ARC) • Kerry Strand • Alan Sutcliffe • Miroslav Šutej • Zdenek Sýkora • Paul Talman • Luis Tomasello • Goran Trbuljak • Miloš Urbásek • Stan VanDerBeek • Gregorio Vardanega • Grazia Varisco • Victor Vasarely • Nanda Vigo • herman de vries • Ante Vulin • Aron Warszawski • John Whitney • Ludwig Wilding • Rolf Wölk • José Maria Yturralde • Yvaral • Edward Zajec • Walter Zehringer • Vilko Žiljak • Anton Zöttl