Vladimir Bonacic. DIN. PR18, continuous computer installation, Zagreb, 1969

Unlike other aspects of the arts, media art in Croatia has not yet received systematic treatment. The creation of this thematic slot (2002) is the first attempt to define the term media art in Croatia in its historic context, as well as to set up a relevant data base. Bearing this in mind, we are aware of possible shortcomings and have structured the document in a dynamic manner, thereby respecting the nature of media art itself as well as the need to fill in the gaps and double-check the information. We therefore welcome your collaboration in the form of comments and suggestions.

During the transition from the industrial age to the information society - since the mid-20th century - a segment of the arts has also been related to information, especially that digitally generated and mediated. Talking about media art, one is faced with the insoluble question of terminology and categorization. The question as to what media art is is (im)possible to answer just as is the question of what art is. It is necessary to emphasize that the term itself is subject to a relatively quick redefinition in the context of a given time. Today, media art can also be termed art of new technologies or new media art. In the past thirty years the following general terms have been used: multimedia, electronic art, extended media, etc. (more about the terms and subcategorization).

We will discuss here media art that is critical of the media, with the emphasis on the art practice making use of (tele)communication and electronic media from the 1960s onwards. Since the topics such as Croatian conceptual art of the 1970s and 1980s - and video art as its part - have been covered rather well (the data base on video works between 1971 and 1999 being the only complete database of the works in media art), we will pay less attention to them, primarily because they will soon be included in the visual and film art segments. Since the 1990s, media art has been viewed within the context of media culture: an open area of practice and critical theory treading the fine line between conceptual art, social and political activism, and technology.

A brief overview of media art in Croatia (since 1960s)
Institutions, events, data bases
by: Darko Fritz


(D.H., 01.03.2010)