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Computers And Automation Launches Its "Computer Art Contest"

The contest defines “computer art” as “examples of visual creativity in which a computer plays a dominant role.”

February 5, 1965

The Studiengalerie der Technische Hochschule Stuttgart presents the first-ever public exhibition of computer-generated images as art.

April 6, 1965

Manhattan’s Howard Wise Gallery presents this first American exhibition of computer art, featuring works by A. Michael Noll and Béla Julesz.

November 5, 1965

Galerie Wendelin Niedlich in Stuttgart presents the third exhibition of computer art, featuring works by Georg Nees and Frieder Nake.


Computer Technique Group (CTG) forms

Masao Komura, Haruki Tsuchiya, Kunio Yamanaka, and Junichiro Kakizaki found the Computer Technique Group (CTG) in Japan.


Founded by kinetic artist and aeronautical engineer Frank Malina, the journal will go on 1969 to publish important primary accounts and secondary scholarship in the field of digital art and art and technology more broadly.

This magazine dedicated to the theoretical links between computers and art is published by a group of artists related to the [Nove] tendencije (New Tendencies) movement.

ICA London presents the first major museum presentation of computer-generated images, films, sculptures, songs, and other creative forms, curated by Jasia Reichardt.


Groupe Art et Informatique de Vincennes (GAIV) founded

A group of young musicians and artists including Hervé Huitric and Manfred Mohr (joined later by Monique Nahas) found the Groupe Art et Informatique de Vincennes (GAIV).


September 16, 1970

Group Exhibition: Software

The Jewish Museum presents Software, which explores the importance of software as a metaphor for conceptual art.


May 11, 1971

Solo Exhibition: Manfred Mohr: Computer Graphics. Une esthétique programmée

Thanks to this presentation at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Mohr becomes the first computer artist to have a solo museum exhibition.


David Ahl launches the first major magazine for computer hobbyists to promote the use of personal computers to create games, art, and other creative forms.

This organization, which presents an annual trade show for people working with computer graphics, is founded as part of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).


Publication of Artist and Computer

Ruth Leavitt’s anthology includes interviews with thirty-five leading computer artists, including Vera Molnár, Kenneth Knowlton, Charles Csuri, Manfred Mohr, Lillian Schwartz, and Hiroshi Kawano.


September 18, 1979

Launch of Ars Electronica

The longest-running media art festival launches in Linz. The organization will open its first year-round museum in 1996.


February 16, 1980

Artists’ Use of Telecommunications Conference

This conference at SFMOMA includes live global video links and leads to the launch of ARTBOX (later ARTEX), the first significant digital network for artists, which will support key projects throughout the 1980s.


Group Exhibition: 42nd Venice Biennale

The theme is “Art and Science,” and it includes the presentations “Technology and Informatics” and “Art and Computer.”


Ars Electronica launches the Prix Ars Electronica

Early categories include “Computer Graphics,” “Computer Animation,” “Computer Music,” and “Interactive Art.” A new category for net art is introduced in 1995, but is dropped in 2006.


Launch of ISEA (International Symposia on Electronic Arts)

These symposia (now organized by the ISEA Foundation) for organizations and individuals working with digital and other electronic arts are held in a different city every year.


ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe is founded

Having moved into its current complex in 1997 and operating under the direction of Peter Weibel since 1999, ZKM has becoming a leading museum for digital and other forms of media art.



Wolfgang Staehle launches this BBS (Bulletin Board System) in New York City, which will become a hotbed of making and sharing online art, with nodes in multiple cites across Europe.


John Bothwick and Benjamin Weil found this platform for artists (including Lawrence Weiner and Jenny Holzer) to make and share experiments with the web.

Pit Schultz presents screenshots of projects in the Berlin nightclub Bunker, including works from Vuk Ćosić, JODI, Alexei Shulgin, and Heath Bunting, among others.


June 1, 1995

Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz launch this email list as part of the Club Berlin event at the Venice Biennale. The community would become associated with the term, which Schultz coined.

August 1, 1995

Douglas Davis’s website The World’s First Collaborative Sentence, 1994, is gifted to the museum by its collectors.


March 16, 1996

Postmasters gallery in New York City presents this group show of digital works (including one about cryptography), many available for purchase on floppy discs and CDs, becoming the first commercial gallery to support digital and net artists.

Developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in Chicago and debuted at SIGGRAPH ’92, the CAVE will host around 50 virtual reality projects over the next 12 years.

Artist Mark Tribe launches this list for the net art community, which later spawns a website, online database, and non-profit organization now affiliated with the New Museum in New York City.

Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett found this non-profit art and technology “(de)center” in London. In 2006, they coined the term DIWO (Doing It With Others) to promote decentralized relationships in the arts.


May 23, 1997

The Berlin-based VideoFilmFest (itself founded in 1988) transforms into this annual media art festival, which also presents year-round programming and publications.

June 21, 1997

The main exhibition includes net artists Heath Bunting, JODI, and Antoni Muntadas; a satellite site called “Hybrid WorkSpace” presents net art on computers installed in an office-like room at the Orangerie.

Curated by Steve Dietz, the Walker Art Center hosts this platform for net art, which also includes interviews with artists including Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Auriea Harvey, and Paul Vanouse.

The Japanese telecom company NTT opens this center devoted to the intersection of science, technology, and art in Tokyo.


C Brandon, 1998-99, also becomes the first work of net art commissioned by a major art museum.

This New York-based center for artists creatively working with technology is known for its artist fellowships and public programming focused on taking a critical view of technology.


Launch of the Variable Media Initiative

The Guggenheim Museum unites media artists and museum workers to address the unique challenges of presenting and conserving media art.


March 1, 2000

An “Internet Art Gallery” was presented as large video projections in the galleries, as well as on a bank of computers and on the Biennial's webpage.

Commissioned artists include Graham Harwood, Heath Bunting, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, and Natalie Bookchin.


March 3, 2001

This SFMOMA survey of art in the digital age, presenting in its galleries and online, includes works by Char Davies, Entropy8Zuper!, Lee Bul, and Thomson & Craighead, among others.

March 2001

Curated by Christiane Paul, this site commissions work from Casey Reas, Ubermorgen, Addie Wagenknecht, Eteam, Eva and Franco Mattes, Morehshin Allahyari, and Michael Mandiberg, among others.

June 10, 2001

Eva and Franco Mattes unleash the Python-based virus (created with the hacker group Epidemic) during the opening, and also exhibit it on computers in the Slovenian Pavillion.

November 15, 2001

The first gallery dedicated to digital art, Bitforms will represent artists including Beryl Korot, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Manfred Mohr, Casey Reas, and Addie Wagenknecht.

This free and open-source program, developed by Ben Fry and Casey Reas, becomes a powerful tool for visual artists to learn and experiment with code.


Publication of Dispersion

Seth Price's canonical essay/artwork highlights how the internet is contributing to an increasing emphasis on how art is circulated (rather than produced) in contemporary art.


Publication of Digital Art

Thames and Hudson publishes the first edition of Christiane Paul’s survey in its mass market paperback “World of Art” series.


August 8, 2006

A group of artists begin posting seemingly random things they discover while surfing the internet to their collaborative blog, giving rise to the term “surf club" to describe similar such groups.

October 12, 2006

The exhibition and its related book and website highlight the use of videogames to make art, as seen in the practices of artists like Cory Arcangel and JODI.


November 12, 2009

Launch of Whitney Museum's Sunrise/Sunset commissions

Curated by Christiane Paul, these interventions are by artists including Stephanie Rothenberg, R. Luke DuBois, JODI, Rafaël Rozendaal, Lorna Mills, Carla Gannis, American Artist, LaTurbo Avedon, and Ryan Kuo.


HEK (Haus der elektronischen Künste / House of Electronic Arts) founded

This museum in Basel collects digital art and oganizes exhibitions and publications on individual artists and topics such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and gaming.


April 2, 2012

Author Bruce Sterling helps define and popularize the term coined by James Bridle to describe an aesthetic resulting from the blurring of physical and digital reality.

Claire Bishop's essay in Artforum sparks a debate about the relationship between the worlds of mainstream contemporary art and new media art.


March 16, 2013

TRANSFER gallery opens

Originally based in Brooklyn, this gallery for born-digital art will feature artists including LaTurbo Avedon, Carla Gannis, Angela Washko, Morehshin Allahyari, Rosa Menkman, Claudia Hart, Lorna Mills, and Faith Holland.


January 4, 2014

This London gallery for digital art grows to include a physical exhibition space, online exhibition platform, educational program, and studio spaces.

March 1, 2014

UCCA Beijing hosts this survey that helps to define a field of contemporary artists who address "the centrality of the network," including Cory Arcangel, Harm van den Dorpel, and Artie Vierkant.

May 3, 2014

Paired by Rhizome, Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash build Monegraph within one day and create the first digital art token (later to be called an NFT).

May 28, 2014

The French artists use the dark-net and Bitcoin to acquire a scanned copy of Satoshi Nakamoto's passport.

June 1, 2014

Austrian Cointemporary platform showcases temporary online exhibitions of Bitcoin art, available for Bitcoin only.

July 22, 2014

In this conceptual artwork, the smart contract can be set to nominate itself as art or not with a click of a mouse and the payment of the gas fee.

July 24, 2014

In this conceptual artwork, the smart contract can be set to nominate itself as art or not with a click of a mouse and the payment of the gas fee.

Artist Rhea Myers tokenized her soul conceptually as an MYSOUL token on the DogeCoin and CounterParty blockchain.


February 15, 2015

BitchCoin is an artwork-backed currency by Sarah Meyohas that aims to challenge the current economics of the art world.

February 25, 2015

The 2015 New Museum Triennial foregrounds the internet's impact on identity and culture, featuring artists like DIS, Aleksandra Domanović, Oliver Laric, and Martine Syms.

March 11, 2015

Digital trading cards issued on the CounterParty blockchain by the EverdreamSoft game studio, these cards become later the game Spells of Genesis.

March 16, 2015

Scarab is simultaneously an artist collective and a work of art itself based on the CounterParty blockchain.