Behind the Yugoslav art movement that predicted the birth of digital art – The Calvert Journal

Feeding neo-abstraction, the precocious premonitions of op-art and the beginnings of computer art, New Tendencies represents one of the forgotten avant-gardes of Europe. From abstract paintings of ‘meanders’ produced obsessively by Julije Knifer, accustomed to new trends, to the swirling kaleidoscopic patterns of Miroslav Šutej and the computer-generated light installations of Vladimir Bonačić, new trends have seemed to save the waning modernist tradition and provide it with a new feeling of energy and power. With a focus on the role of new technologies in defining how artists see their world and communicate with their audiences, he anticipated everything from video art to bio-art and robotics. Established in a communist maverick country open to the west, it also emphasized the social role of the artist and promotes the idea of ​​collective work in an attempt to overturn the “bourgeois” myth of the artist by as a lonely genius.

But the role of New Trends in the history of art has been shouted out by stronger and less ambiguous trends. As an ever-evolving association of like-minded artists spread across a vast geographic area, it has never had a manifesto for academics and critics to decipher or dissect. By chance, it also took root in a country which, as important as it may have been in the 1960s, simply no longer exists today.

Christopher S. Washington