A temporary exhibition outlining the history of digital art is currently on show at Forte Prenestino, a social centre that has been occupied and self-managed since 1986 and which is active in several arenas.
The works created by some of digital art’s pioneers are presented in a retrospective which begins from the very early experiments of the 1960s through the home computing revolution of the 80s to arrive (almost) to our present day. The Computer Museum of Cosenza has made available the computer tools and competencies. Alongside machines, the curators have in some cases re-built or re-written some of the past computer coding.
The exhibition opens with electronic poetry by Nanni Balestrini, who in 1961 discovered the potential of the new IBM (IBM 7070) computer to generate works/performances of casual poetry.
The original Tape Mark I software has also been re-written on the basis of an algorithm developed by Balestrini himself, which mixes sentences according to pre-determined rules and random factors.
The exhibition, among other displays, continues with plotter printed works, the first digital graphic novels by Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici, Tommaso Tozzi’s experiences in activism using pre-web communication systems and the ASCII machine by Jeromil, which portrays us in real time using coding profile.
All exhibits are in working order, presented to visitors on vintage systems and supports or, in the few cases where this was not possible, these machines have been reinterpreted for the present, as in the case of Balestrini’s work. This is an unmissable journey into the past – a small but extremely well-curated exhibition. More importantly, each display is presented with detailed information, which can be accessed before and after visits on a special website dedicated to the exhibition.
a cura dei Musei di Museo Interattivo di Archeologia Informatica” (MIAI) Italy and “Museo dell’Informatica Funzionante” (MusIF)
images: (cover 1) 1bin/art – Retrospettiva computer art,Forte Prenestino, Roma, 13 – 30.05.2018 (2) Plotter – ZUse (3) Nanni Balestrini, “Tape Mark I”, 1961 (4) Susan Kare, Sketchbook, California Design Museum