Tendencies 4 was one of the events in the series of exhibitions and other manifestations that started under the title, “New Tendencies”, in Zagreb (Croatia, then Yugoslavia) in 1961, and lasted till 1973 and even further until 1978.
In 1968, the organizing team of New Tendencies incorporated a new topic into their activities: the appearance of computers in the domain of art. Under the title of “Computers and Visual Research”, a symposium, an exhibition, a competition, and an international magazine were launched. They were followed by more activities of this kind.
These activities constituted the Tendencies 4 (Tendencije 4) exhibition which took place in 1968/69. The symposium “Tendencies 4: Computers and Visual Research” embraced the idea of the computer as a medium for artistic creation. Bringing together artists, theorists and scientist from different countries and backgrounds, this event offered a space for discussions and artistic practices of which the local organizers hoped it would influence computerbased art.
Tendencies 4 (T4) was the fourth international meeting of the New Tendencies, probably the most ambitious and biggest one of them. T4 was a one-year event (in 1968/1969). It included two exhibitions, two symposia under the title “Computers and Visual Research”. The program also included an international art competition (on which the exihibition Computer and Visual Research, 1969 was based).
Originally all events of Tendencies 4 were planned to take place during the summer of 1968, but because of its complexity organizers soon decided to extend the program from August 3, 1968, until August 30, 1969. A retrospective show of the previous New Tendencies events was included and demonstrated the continuity into which computer art got integrated.
The central goal of T4 was to “propagate and extend the ‘dialog with machines’ in the area of visual research” [Rosen, 2011]. Darko Fritz explains in [Fritz, 2008], that the central topic of T4 – computers and visual research – was approached from the perspective of “Information Aesthetics” as founded by Max Bense and Abraham A. Moles.
The concept of “Information Aesthetics” and the idea of the computer as a creative medium were presented and discussed in the new magazine bit international, as well as during several academic events:
- Tendencies 4 (1968), Computers and Visual Research, competition
- Tendencies 4 (1969), Computers and Visual Research, symposium (1969)
- Tendencies 4 (1968-1973), Computers and Visual Research, bit international
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