Vuk Cosic, Raging Bull, video, 1999
Vuk Cosic, Singing in the Rain, video, 1999
Vuc Cosic, Very Deep ASCII, plotter drawing, ink on paper, 42 x 60 cm, edition of 3, 2015


Vuk Cosic (born 1966 in Belgrad, Serbia) found his path as an artist while engaging with the early internet in the 1990ies after having studied archaeology. Said to have coined the term ‘net art’, he is considered one of the pioneers of new media art from this early era (and calls himself a retired net artist!).

He gained international recognition through his work „Documenta done“ for which he copied the official website of the DocumentaX in order to archive it and keep it live until today. For the Venice Bienial 2001, he was invited to the Slovenian Pavillion as an artist, however used this opportunity to invite his colleague net artists, thus presenting his own work in the larger context of this new genre.

With „History Of Art For Airports“ Cosic created a series of pictogramms similar to those found on toilet doors, but in this case quoting icons of art history and pop culture. For example Warhol’s Campbell Soup or JODI’s flickering screens are depicted in a way that they are immediately recognisable.

His interest in the intersection between text and computer code, in the archaeology of the media and in habits of perception also lead to his extensive period of reseach on ASCII-art. ASCII, the abbreviation for ‘American Standard Code for Information Interchange’, is a standardised character set that is more or less congruent with the characters on a keyboard and is constitutional for the basic processes of decoding in computing. ASCII-art refers to still or moving images that are composed purely out of that set of characters, arranged in a way that all graphic information is emulated through letters, numbers and other symbols. Vuk Cosic work in this field has helped establish ASCII-art as its own aesthetic genre. Since the 1990ies, Ćosić has not only produced ASCII images, but also converted entire feature films – classics such as Star Trek and Psycho – into ASCII. Their emblematic visuals have sunk so deeply into our collective memory that they are easily recognisable even after the alienating effects of ASCII.

The artist describes his interest in low-tech aesthetics as follows:

„ [My] Works and experiments with … ASCII … are all directed towards conversions of contents between one media platform and an other, every time carefully directed at their full uselessness from the viewpoint of everyday high tech and all it’s consequences. (…) My reaction to this is to look in the past and continue the upgrade of some marginalized or forgotten technology.“ (in: Mark Tribe, Reena Jana: New Media Art, Köln: Taschen, 2006)

Next to his being an artist, Cosic also works as a lecturer, author, curator and activist. He was co-founder of the Syndicate- and Nettime-Mailinglists as well as the Ljubljana Digital Media Labs. His work has been exhibited internationally, in the Kunsthalle Wien, ZKM Karlsruhe and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam amongst others.

Born on 31 July 1966 in Belgrad, Serbia
Study at the University Belgrad, BA in archaeology 1991
Co-founder of Nettime, Syndicate 7-11 and Ljubljana Digital Media Lab

AESTHETICA, DAM Gallery Berlin, Germany
The Present and Presence, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
30th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Summer Splash, DAM GALLERY Berlin, Germany
The Present and Presence – Repetition 1, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Present and Presence, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
October Salon 2011, October Salon, Belgrad, Serbia
Nicht woher, sondern wohin … Open Space – Zentrum für Kunstprojekte, Vienna, Austria
DISOBEDIENCE … LMAKprojects, New York, USA
6th Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
Videodrome Autocenter, Berlin, Germany
28th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana, Slovenia
Vuk Cosic: OUT OF CHARACTER Threshold artspace, Perth, Scotland
01 – Best of Digital Art, DAM GALLERY Berlin, Germany
PRIMARY INGREDIENTS, Threshold artspace, Perth, Scotland
Holy Fire. Art of the Digital Age, iMAL Brussels, Belgium
Arteast Collection 2000+23 Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
under.ctrl Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria
Territories, Identities, Nets Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
Re:MODERN, Künstlerhaus Wien, Austria
7 SINS – Ljubljana-Moscow, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
Art in Extended Spaces, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
4th Triennale of Contemporary Slovene Art, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
games – computer games by artists hartware medien kunst verein, Dortmund, Germany
In den Schluchten des Balkan, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
Boundless Border, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bukarest, Rumania
Vuk Cosic – History of Art for the Intelligence Community, Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria
49. Biennale Venedig 2001, Biennale Venedig, Italia
Net_Condition ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
La Biennale de Montréal 1998, Biennale Montreal, Canada
History of Art for the Airports, Tank, No. 1, London, UK
Biennale dei Giovani Artisti dell’Europa e del Mediterraneo, Torino, Italia
A Day in the Life of a Net.artist (Media in Media), Mestna galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Velodrome Online, Electronic Cafe International, Copenhagen, Denmark
Le Coco Fruitwear (Urbanaria – Part Two), Ljubljana, Rijeka, Dubrovnik, Split, London, Torino
Hollywood, Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Flat Jurij Krpan, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Galeria Juliet, Trieste, Italia
Total Egal, St. Lambrecht, Austria
Basta, Dubrovnik, Croatia

AESTHETICA, DAM Berlin, 29 May – 1 August 2015
SUMMER SPLASH, DAM Berlin, 12 May – 14 July 2012
01 – BEST OF DIGITAL ART, DAM Berlin, 4 April – 23 May 2009