presentation

Darko Fritz: Digital Art in Croatia 1968-1984 (book and website)


time: 27.03.2021.

The project "Digital Art in Croatia 1968-1984" was conceived as an exhibition with an accompanying catalogue, but due to epidemiological reasons and lockdown at the time of its planned holding in 2020, the format of the exhibition was changed to a book and website.
 
In addition to the extensive introductory text by Darko Fritz, the following authors are presented: Vladimir Bonačić, bcd-CyberneticArt team (Vladimir Bonačić, Miro Cimerman, Dunja Donassy), Nikola Šerman, Miljenko Horvat, Tomislav Mikulić, Vilko Žiljak, Vlatko Čerić, Andrija Mutnjaković and Nikola Tanhofer.
Having in mind the profile of the museum that produces the program, Darko Fritz adapts his approach to the topic, dealing, in addition to art, the technical aspect of works and the technological context of their creation and social and economic circumstances of informatization in Croatia in the 1960s and 1970s.
 
We are presenting the Croatian edition of the book, and the desire remains that the exhibition, as well as the English edition of the book, will be realized next year.
 
The reasons for dealing with the topic of early digital art in Croatia at the Technical Museum Nikola Tesla are numerous. One of the program directions of the Museum is "interdisciplinarity - science and art", which is one of the essential features of digital art presented in this project. Namely, early digital art originated in scientific institutions and universities, and many of its protagonists were scientists or engineers who had access to technology that was exclusive at the time and, motivated by its capabilities, out of curiosity or encouraged by scientific concepts and artistic impulses, began to create works of art.
The time frame of early digital art in Croatia in this project is limited by emblematic years: the revolutionary 1968, when the first exhibition of digital art was held, and the Orwellian 1984.
 
The cultural climate in Zagreb, which, among other things, manifested itself in several international exhibitions and the New Tendencies (NT) movement from 1961 to 1978, encouraged "the initiation, first production, presentation, exhibition, critique and theory of domestic digital art, as and its presence in global digital art networks and elsewhere since 1968. " (Darko Fritz). Furthermore, it is important to point out Matko Meštrović's ideas on the synthesis of science and art within the "scientification of humanities and art as part of a long-term (utopian) process of universal scientification of all human actions (...) beginning with the appropriation of scientific methods such as research and experiment".
 
The website of the project was realized by Damir Prizmić.

The website http://digitalna-umjetnost-u-hrvatskoj.eu presents abbreviated versions of texts and a shortlist of reproductions of exhibits and illustrations from the book in the editorial and curatorial selection of Darko Fritz. In addition to photo reproductions of works of art, the website also presents video documentation of exhibitions of early digital art in Croatia and a selection of digital animations by Tomislav Mikulić.
 
https://tmnt.hr/

(D.H.F., 25.03.2021)