• 04Jan

    Digital Art by Charles Csuri


    In recent years early computer art has received attention as more art historians trace its beginnings. Their focus seems to be on the procedures which gives computer art an identity. A dialog continues about the relationship between the computer and the artist. Although there is a great deal of analysis, little of use as criteria has emerged which helps to distinguish the art from the craft.

    Computer art has been around for 45 years! The level of technical progress and control to create pictures is amazing. However, there is still this difference between technique and art. What criteria do we use to make this distinction? In an effort to find clues should we look at art history? Instead, should we discard the past and establish a new set of rules which become the guidelines for such criteria? What are these new set of rules?

5 Comments to Criteria

  • Dear Charles,

    I am fascinated with your rather recent work same as I was fascinated with your graphics and animation in 70’s.
    Please post some of the “Lines in space” animation. Great idea and amazing structure. Nice and subtle forms built of an atmosphere not of the shapes.
    I admire your work since the punch cards times. I started doing computer graphics then as well.

    Congrats on the web site, it’s great. Another piece of art.


    Tomislav Mikulic
    A pioneer of computer graphics from Zagreb, Croatia
    These days in Australia

  • Johana Urbanov√° says:

    Dear Charles,
    same as Tom Mikulic I really admire your work. I also like very much these web pages where you talk about the techniques regarding to each picture. Currently I am writing thesis about digital art and as one of the pioneers I will of cause include you as well. I have to say that to write this email I was motivated after reading the message from Tom Mikulic which kind of melted my heart.
    I want to wish you best luck in your work:)
    Live long and prosper:)

    Best regards,

    Czech Republic

  • Phil Renshaw says:


    What ever was on my mind vanishes as soon as the computer goes on
    I personally find my mind wanders wanting to start a thing and then get distracted by an other
    a little like browsing, as if trying to grasp all parts of the puzzle at the same time. I expect this is
    normal interaction. Yet what was on my mind is this tantalizing question posed by the artist Charles Csuri
    About how relevant computer art is ? You might as well ask how relevant the light bulb is or cinema is or electricity
    is to us. As these to are all part of the story of human development that shape our life
    equally. Still I suppose Charles Csuri is an artist so his question would center around the world of Art ….


    Is it art is it even computer art or is it mathematics for it would seem that the primal forces the engage human beings in externalizing there internal experiences of he world the personally inhabit , helps to express that sense of a common exercise either that has been shared or will be shared at some point in the future unless it passes you by completely.


    In the case Charles Csuri he would seems as all artist do, to be questioning, scratching round in the dark of self doubt. with in the context of the application of the medium and its chosen forms of expression a little unsure of himself as to where the medium is going weather it should take up a prominent position in any finished work i.e. state the obvious as if it was relevant ( NOTE THIS WAS MADE ON A COMPUTER ) is a self conscious attempt to cover up a multitude of sins that we my have all committed or MY COMPUTER BECOMES THE ART in which case that is understood
    wether that holds anything validation for him & any one else, or that that will validated any ones beliefs ..
    is open to question


    Computers directly reflect the self in a child’s hands the computer is a toy full of wonder and mystery in the hand of a grown up it can often ends up as source of frustration disappointment and a critique of ones own abilities and position with in a hierarchy structure of how good or bad you are as people
    In the hands of a scientist analyst or any number of differing professions the computer becomes a labour saving tool
    enabling us to achieve thing that would ordinarily be beyond our capabilities or reach .
    i.e. the Human Genome Project ( Where such a retort as , “What you didn’t count every genome by hand ? You cheat ”
    would seem funny but a completely inappropriate response. Then to say “I did it on computer is that O K?” “No its not your a big cheat you scientist carped with communal distrust )


    I have owned and been working with a computer for around ten years though I first had
    a go at drawing on a computer on a green screen in 1986 and I suppose my first impressions are still pretty much unchanged what is this strange device that is letting me draw something on a screen what a funny way to draw, in very detached manor, then printed out in the roughest form that boer no relation to the original. What a game !

    So the relevance to my capabilities remains the same to who I am though these capabilities like artistic expression will develop and change The neurosis come from the hard wiring of artistic expression though human history
    to the rewiring of net works the help us see in the dark and express our views and imagination though the porthole of the world wide web ….. the phenomena of the self becomes less relevant unless you were that phenomenal person in the first place. It is very easy to read patterns of thought much quicker though the web an example is political satire
    which has a common thread though out human experience which is now expressed and accessible globally


    Art always had its inaccessible side if it wasn’t religiously or politically engineering a social message ….
    made deaf and mute by highly articulate individuals who sort to commune on a visual level when language was useless
    or for individuals such as myself who find it incredibly difficult. through incomprehensible inhibitions who find it the easiest
    or the most effective form of communication, as all else has failed. That however doesn’t guarantee that I might have any interesting or good to say, or that what I was talking about wasn’t any thing but woffle or bullshit

    If you can wait another 7000 years or so , Computer Art might be hard wired enough in the human conscience to imbue us with a sense of mystery wonder and global relevance to human evolution.
    and our question for a forgotten people who were seeking to understand and interpret what we already know
    the difference in the past , being that it was a matter of life and death and not a scholarship or a masters degree
    you might have been after. Only human development and education changed behavior and perception forever.


  • Well, I too have been struggling with the question of criteria for the last few decades.

    It certainly frustrates me that the emphasis has shifted away from the cognitive processes involved (in both art and computation) towards the fetishism of technology and image. Perhaps the old obsession with “style” has never really gone away.

    However, maybe the problem is deeply embedded in the history of the consumerisation of computational systems. The Mac packaged modern art production techniques for everybody to use -as if inventing those techniques where not the province of the artist and an important part of the creative process.

    Since then (1980’s) everything went downhill. Orwell’s 1984 became a manual for social control, Big Brother became a great commercial hit -and providing “tools for artists” gave great career opportunities. Thinking about criteria went out of fashion.

    Perhaps it would have been embarrassing to think about the criteria when millions were being spent (and earned) by promoting and exploiting “computer art” . Watching the fusion of the iconic with the procedural transforming into a seminar on Photoshop. Hell, how do you teach millions to be creative anyhow -and why bother as long as they keep buying the gear. What a collective con-trick. No wonder the whole economic system is collapsing through lack of collective intelligence.

    If your curious about my criteria, try:
    So What is Media Art?
    Why is Escher Swept Under the Carpet
    Manifesto on Aesthetics
    On the Stairs: Between Old and New Media

    Anyhow, thanks for asking the question it was getting kinda lonely out here…..

  • website says:

    Have you considered adding some differing opinions to the article? I think it will really enhance everyones understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>