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From Programmed Art to Visual Research with Computers: The New Tendencies (1961-1973)

Fri, 19 Oct 2012

From Programmed Art to Visual Research with Computers: The New Tendencies (1961-1973)

Tuesday 23rd October
6pm for 6:15

BCS London Office
First Floor
The Davidson Building,
5 Southampton Street
London, WC2E 7HA

Map: http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/london-office-guide.pdf

An exhibition in Zagreb in 1961 inaugurated an international art movement under the name New Tendencies. Under the slogan of 'art as visual research' they invented new types of objects and so called 'programmed art' which involved the viewer in participatory fields of interaction. In 1968 New Tendencies turned to the computer as a medium of visual research, at the same time as the seminal exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity in London. Yet New Tendencies wanted to create more than just exhibitions and symposia. They tried to initiate an international research network on the computer as a medium of visual research, and, in doing so, developed lively connections with the newly founded British Computer Arts Society. At a second computer art symposium in 1969 a Zagreb manifesto, written by Jonathan Benthall, Gordon Hyde and Gustav Metzger was read out publicly. The lecture explores the continuity but also the rupture between visual research without and with computers. The relationship between manual and intellectual labour in industry and in artistic research serves as a key analytic tool to understand what New Tendencies were about.

Armin Medosch works as a practitioner, curator and writer in expanded media art practices since the 1980s. Living in Austria, Germany and the UK, he has contributed to the practice and discourse on network culture and art and technology as a curator of exhibitions, convenor of conferences, critic and theorist. From 1996 to 2002 he was co-editor-in-chief of the online magazine Telepolis. He has recently been awarded the degree of Ph.D. in Arts and Computational Technology at Goldsmiths, University of London.