Tendencies – the first truly international network of computer generated arts and related theory that transgressed the Cold War blocks in the 1960’s
In the late 1960s fifty-eight artists and artists groups who had discovered the computer as a new artistic medium traveled from four continents to Zagreb, Croatia: from western and eastern Europe, the United States, from Israel, Japan and many others. They followed the invitation of the City of Zagreb Galleries (today Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb) for the exhibitions and events entitled 'Tendenciije 4 and 5' (Tendencies). Between 1968 and 1973 the Gallery organized several exhibitions presenting computer based works as well as four international conferences and started to publish the multilingual 'bit international' magazine between 1968 and 1972. 'Tendencies' initiated the emergence of an international media art practice and related theories, transgressing the Cold War blocks. It was possible because of geo-political position of Zagreb, then part of Yugoslavia as member of the Non-Aligned Movement. Presenting and discussing the computer technology within the art context of evolved from the three 'Nova Tendencija' ('New Tendency') exhibitions, which dated back to 1961. Those early events had been a platform for international scene of neoconstructivistic and luminokinetic art.
'Tendencies' events and publications are singular in their strive for an international discourse, led by artists, scientists and art and culture theoreticians, on the aesthetic and social implications of the computer as the upcoming key technology.