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Charles Csuri Act I: Artist as Interrupter

August 29, 2023

Charles Csuri Act I: Artist as Interrupter

Charles Csuri

Charles Csuri: Art & Research in Three Acts is a collaborative project featuring a number of free community programs. For the full list of exhibition and event dates, visit the Csuri project page

Act I of the exhibition will be on view at Hopkins Hall Gallery from August 28–September 22 at 11:00AM to 4:00PM and will explore the “Artist as Interrupter.”

In 1964, Csuri walked out of Hopkins Hall—the Ohio State Department of Art—to meet with faculty in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering. In doing so, he interrupted the university’s siloed, disciplinary spaces. At the time, Ohio State had only one mainframe computer (IBM 7094) on campus. Before the mid-1960s, Computer Science was taught in the Department of Mathematics. Csuri brought his research questions to Mathematics Professor Leslie Miller and Engineering Professor James Shaffer. In doing so, he disrupted existing research structures and invited new types of collaboration and new ways of thinking. 

This research explored core artistic issues, like texture, shading, and meaningful relationships between form and abstraction, through the use of a mainframe computer, drum plotter, punch cards, ink pens, and pseudo-random number generators, among other tools. Csuri extended this media by screen printing on acrylic, carving into wood, and creating films of fragmentation animation. Csuri investigated principles of transformation using mathematical equations and line fragmentation, as well as uncertainty and surprise through the use of randomness.

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