Born 1938 in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. Grew up in Zagreb and studied nuclear electronics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb (M. Sc. 1964) Postgraduate studies in London and Paris. Earned his PhD in 1967 in the field of pattern recognition and hidden data structures, at the university of Zagreb.

Bonačić worked in the Croatian National Research Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) in Zagreb from 1964, where he headed the Laboratory of Cybernetics from 1969 to 1973. In 1968 he started to utilize computer systems for cybernetic art. In 1970-1972 he led the research project “Pattern Recognition and Processing” at the RBI. At that time the also began development of “Computer Controlled Dynamic Object” with the support of UNESCO; and in 1971 served as an advisor to the UNESCO on art and science matters. Exhibited his first dynamic objects within New Tendencies exhibition in Zagreb in 1969, altogether 17 works, and then again in 1973. He worked together with Ivan Picelj, and since 1967 with a software designer Miro A. Cimerman. His first solo exhibition took place in Ljubljana in 1972.

In 1973 he became a member of the editorial advisory board of the journal Leonardo. 1978/1979 head of development of the multimedia and electronic library at the national library of Croatia, Zagreb, and the central library of the University of Zagreb. Moved to Germany in 1980 where he undertook R&D projects primarily in visual communications used by German television for election night reporting. He died 1999 in Germany.