Short History of Electronic Art, Part One
To discuss electronic art nowadays in Belgrade sounds pretty bizarre.
But we did. Belgrade has always been a crossroad of different initiatives
and exchange from all parts of our ex-country.
The series of presentations and lecturing on that topic started in this
first phase of the project with the pioneers of that kind of art in ex-Yu.
So we have begun with the computer music and videoart, as a natural
starting point, leading to the complex interactive projects via internet
or environments/installations. Artists from Ljubljana (Bor Turel, computer
music an video), Maribor (Marjan Šijanec), Novi Sad (Vojin Tišma, Jozef Klacik, Boris Kovač), Holland (Predrag Šidjanin) and Belgrade (Čedomir
Vasić, Sveta Nikolić, Mihailo Ristić, Miša Savić and Gordana Novaković)
who formed long time ago (May, 1991) The Association of Electronic Media
Artists, presented their old and new works. It was a good possibility to
follow the developing thread leading us to the contemporary computer art.
The event was daily updated on the web-site, contenting also short artistic
statements by the participants concerning the topic. And technical support
done by Cinema Rex was a real support.
It was real pleasure to collect all the memories and the results, not
talking on good old days, but talking on future.
But there is also some not very pleasant conclusion: the theory of new
media art does not follow the results of artist here. Very few of theoreticians
writes from time to time, but we are out of competent and consequent critics.
And it was one of the reasons for organizing such a manifestation: to try
to establish the archive of that new contemporary art, as a basis for funding
a coherent artistic scene with adequate critics and theory. All presentations
are audio/video taped. It is a great collection of data concerning previous
events and authors. A book/catalogue and CD-ROM out of thus collected materials
are the next step. (The last book on that topic, on videoart, "Videosfera"
by M. Ristić was published in 1986!)
And the decision of transforming the idea of Association into a mailing
list seems also as a good result. Here is the text of "Manifesto" from
the meeting on 15 of April, by: Gordana Novaković, Miša Savić, Čedomir
Vasić and Mihailo Ristić:
Once upon a time, there was a city named Belgrade. It was the time
when its citizens did not need to carry transparents saying "Belgrade
is the world", it was a fact. These were the times when artists who marked
this century visited it, from all over the world and from all ex-Yu countries,
to promote their work and ideas and to exchange them with Belgrade artists.
Then, in a few years everything changed. Everything has been forgotten,
due to the great magic of war. That was also a time of
desperate street protests that changed nothing. But it was also the
time when Belgrade started to live and communicate emanating its' spirit
to the rest of the world through the internet and by radio-waves.
Now, all over again, in Belgrade a new huge group of intellectuals and
young people are packing their suitcases facing another chapter of going
on catastrophe. That is reality and we must accept it. We have no country,
but however sad it sounds we should not spend our lives crying over our
bad luck and destiny, for the whole world became our country, whatever
our current address is at the moment. We all became nomads in a way: those
who are spread all over the world as well as those who are staying. It
is a new quality that has been generated out of great disaster, death and
suffering. We have to face it and to take
it as a certain form of human vitality.
Those who have left long ago, and the ones who are just about to, together
with the ones that are brave enough to stay and try once again to resist,
feel the need for keeping contacts and exchanging energy and ideas. Many
artists are dispersed in different countries, slowly loosing connection
with people and the essence of their surrounding that has been generated
their creative energy. The ones that are staying are unhappy feeling loneliness
and isolation. We need each other, and we all need our friends from all
over the world. We need a place where we can be together. But there is
no Belgrade any more. Our Belgrade does not exist as a notion. Nowadays,
it could only be a virtuallity. The need to unite our personal contacts
is obvious, and the Internet, something that for a great number of us is
a part of our everyday communication, is as a logical solution for creating
our new artistic scene.
The idea of an Association of Media artists, that has been proclaimed
in Belgrade in May 1991, has to be transformed into a mailing list for
artists (not only media, but all kinds of art) and theorists, not only
born or living in Belgrade, but for everyone who feels bonded with the
artistic scene of this city, or has any interest for its abstract geography
as a place for exchanging ideas and information concerning art and artistic theory.
Now we are preparing the second part of our project. It will be a series
of guests, artists and theoreticians from different countries, to discus
and present their works and ideas on media-art.
It will continue, in the future, with the presentation of nowadays
results of diverse forms of electronic art, by artists of all generations, as a continuity of archiving the data.
All the info about artists (biographies, works, texts, links, etc) and
about the event can be found at http://www.rex.opennet.org/electronicart
Gordana Novaković, visual artist, author of the project, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received on 2003-04-02