Computers and Programmed Arts in the Sixties in Italy
Elisabetta Mori  1  
1 : Fondazione Galilei

Italian Programmed and Cinetic Art has been the focus of a renewed interest in the last years. The work of Bruno Munari, Gruppo T, Gruppo N and others has been recently shown in a series of books and exhibitions. The aim of this research is to explore the nature of relationship between Programmed Art and the diffusion of computers in the Italy of the Sixties, from the history of computer science perspective. Were the electronic computing machines involved in any way to produce the works? What was the notion these artists had of “programming”? What was the market of computers in Italy at that time? It is not just a coincidence that the very first exhibition of "Arte programmata" was presented in the Olivetti showroom in Milan in May 1962, first stage of a tour passing by Venice, Rome and Düsseldorf, ending in the United States. The company entirely funded the exhibition - as a part of its impressive cultural program of supporting art and literature, while its second generation of computers was going to be launched on the market.

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