The Arts and Digital Technology

Frank B. Withrow - The Dawn Patrol

We often think of the early development of the computer as coming from the world of science and mathematics. However, much early exciting pioneer work was done in the areas of music and art. Raymond Kurzweil‘s early work with music synthesizers were historic. His were the only digital instruments allowed to be used in Carnegie Hall. He was able to make instruments that had the true tones of the better instruments. His father was an orchestra conductor, and he grew up with fine music.

In the fine arts world, Charles Csuri of Ohio State University has created some of the world’s finest computer art. Charles is a World War II veteran with a Bronze Star, an All American University of Ohio football player and a world-renowned computer artist.

Csuri’s images of the world give us a new perspective in a number of fields such as art, architecture, engineering, and basic science. He has been recognized as one of the world’s new artistic masters.  As an octogenarian, he continues to explore and create new and exciting works. He has influenced computer art worldwide.

Charles Csuri is a new and true creative artist of the digital age. His works will most likely live on through the ages, and he will be considered a unique master of our time. Not only his original work but his students’ works, too, will be recognized as masterpieces.

Csuri and my late wife, Margaret, worked together in the 1980s to develop some animated language development tapes. I have known him for some time.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Frank

    In response to the interesting mash-up of the texts and pictures taken from the “Beyond Boundaries” catalogue of an exhibition of Charles Csury’s works in the video you posted above:

    Charles Csuri – Beyond Boundaries Presentation (uploaded by OSCnewmedia April 17, 2009), where Csury speaks about his works and methods to students at Ohio State University.
    Version with improvable English captions and transcript:

  2. And re musicians using computers, doesn’t the use of stochastic processes by Iannis Xenakis resemble what Csuri says of his use of Animation Language in the “Infinity Series” in his Beyond Boundaries presentation above (from 5:28), Frank?

    Xenakis, who was both musician and architect, also transformed computer models of his buildings into music. But here, I’ll embed a video about “Poème électronique” a stunning 1958 collaborative work under the lead of Le Corbusier in which he participated, together with the composer Edgar Varèse, and which has recently been electronically restored from its various remaining elements:

    VEP Project Documentary, uploaded by fnunnari, August 31, 2007, with captions.

  3. I have done some old fashion cell animation work. One five minute film is A Line and A Dot that wanted become a ball but became a splash. It is a take off on Fantasia. It is abstract art the moves into the 2 1/2 minute mark and then reverses. We did the same with the music. Kids like it. I used it in research asking the kids to write about their impressions while viewing and listening to the five minutes. Some kids were stimulated to write imaginary scripts whereas other simply wrote about colors and movement.

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