Waldemar Cordeiro


Waldemar Cordeiro – Auto-Retrato (self-portrait) Probabilístico , 1967
34,5 × 29,5 × 31 cm

Born 1925-04-12 in Rome, Italy.
Died 1973-06-30 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Waldemar Cordeiro was perhaps the most important, and definitely the first, name of electronic arts in Brazil during the early years of digital art. In the 1950’s, he was one of the most prominent members of the Brazilian avant garde scene, as the main theorist and practitioner of concrete art in that country.

Born in Italy, and trained there as an artist, he started studying works by the Neo-Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, during his time at Academia di Belli Arte in Rome. Highly influential on his thinking and work, Cordeiro is probably one of a few only in the early years of algorithmic art with such a background.

Cordeiro emigrated to Brazil in 1949 where he soon became the leader of a group of immigrants sharing an interest in concrete art. Indeed, concrete art in Brazil was imported by those foreigners. Concrete art in its general orientation is close to computing machinery such that, similar to European developments, the step from concrete to computed art is an almost natural one.

In the 1968, Cordeiro became the first Brazilian artist who had a chance to use a computer. He got access to an IBM 360/44 with the support by Giorgio Moscati, a physicist at the Physics Department of the University of São Paulo.

Soon later, in 1971, he organized the Arteônica event in São Paulo, the first major exhibition and conference on art & technology in Brazil. Arteônica was a pioneering event (not just in a Brazilian context) as it allowed for meetings of all those minds that were considering, and actually trying to realize radical changes in their approaches to making art.

Part of artist groups(s): New Tendencies
Programming languages/software used: FORTRAN

1925 Born in Rome, Italy.

/ ????/ Began his training in Rome, at the School of Fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma), taking a course in engraving at the Scuola di San Giacomo and studying with the painter, De Simone.

1949 Moved to São Paulo, Brazil, first working as journalist.

1952 Together with Anatol Wladyslaw (1913 – 2004), Leopoldo Haar (1910 – 1954), Lothar Charoux (1912 – 1987), Féjer (1923 – 1989), Geraldo de Barros (1923 – 1998) and Luiz Sacilotto (1924 – 2003), he founded the Grupo Ruptura (Rupture Group).

1952 Exhibited work of a concrete character, launching a manifesto at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo – MAM/SP (São Paulo Museum of Modern Art).

1968 Introduced the use of the computer in the visual arts to Brazil, carrying out his first researches at the end of the 1960s.

1971 Held the Arteônica – O Uso Criativo dos Meios Eletrônicos em Arte (Artonics – the Creative Use of Electronic Media in Art) show in São Paulo, which resulted in a book of the same title.

1972 Became a lecturer at the Universidade de Campinas – Unicamp (University of Campinas), where he directed the Centro de Processamento de Imagens do Instituto de Artes (Image Processing Centre of the Institute of Arts).


  • 1969 – São Paulo, Brazil – Computer Plotter Art, at Usis’ Gallery (considered the first computer art exhibition realized on Latin America).
  • 1970 – London, UK – Computer Graphic 70, at Brunel University.
  • 1970 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Computer Graphic Art.
  • 1970 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Computer Graphic Roof of Groenland.
  • 1970 – London, UK – Computer 70 Olympia.
  • 1971 – São Paulo, Brazil – Arteônica, at Faap.



Arteônica: Electronic Art (Manifesto), by Waldemar Cordeiro: http://www.leonardo.info/isast/spec.projects/cordeiro.html


Waldemar Cordeiro – Auto-Retrato (self-portrait) Probabilístico , 1967
34,5 × 29,5 × 31 cm