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Charles A. Csuri
Infinity Series, 2001 - present ➔ Emily's Scribbles Frame 300, fishscrib series

algorithmic paintings
Charles A. Csuri
97 x 132 cm (38 x 52 in.)
As the viewer might infer from the title and its implied gestures, Emily is Charles Csuris granddaughter. He watched as the two-year-old scribbled with her crayons on paper with intense and carefree abandonment. He wondered what she thought as she marked, whether the drawing had cognitive content for her, and whether she was expressing something. He concluded that she was likely working freely, intently, and with abandonlike a child. He delighted in her involvement; it inspired him. He longed nostalgically for kinetic mark making, for direct involvement with the physicality of materials, for the process of putting crayon to paper. He was once, before all, an artist who pushed and pulled and dragged paint on canvas, with nothing between him and the surface except a brush, if he chose to use one, or his fingers. Csuri remembered when he was joyously lost in the process of creating with abandon, like Emily.He took Emilys abandon as an inspiration for Emilys Scribbles Frame 300 from the fishscrib series. What the viewer sees here, however, are not the uninhibited hand gestures of an adult artist: Emilys Scribbles is a mathematical model of polygons aligned by vectors manipulated by an arithmetic ribbon function, designed by Csuri and Steve May, that allows for infinite manipulations of the same objects. In his method of working, Csuri imagines, but does not actually see, the effects of the logarithmic constraints he is imposing or the configurations he is building until the computer calculates them and eventually renders them visible on a monitor. Through strokes on the keyboard, Csuri can create one, two, or hundreds of versions of the model, wait for them to materialize as thumbnails, and select the ones he wants as they are or for further manipulation. In further manipulation, however, it is the whole model in three-dimensional space that will be altered, not one single line, nor a shade or tint of one particular color. (This is not Photoshop.)Emilys Scribbles is a three-dimensional image printed on a two-dimensional piece of paper. It is not flat marks on paper, like Emilys crayon drawing. The lines of Csuris artwork are lit by a light source, highlighting some lines and shadowing others. Lines in the foreground appear larger and closer to to the viewer than those in the background do because Csuris computer programs accept a Renaissance perspective. He chose the place from which the viewer sees this scene from among many others that were available to him.Csuri let go of the joy of hands-on processesdirect markings on tactile physical materials such as paper and canvasthat give an artist instant visual information upon which to make further visual decisions, such as to stop, make more marks, erase some, tidy some, and smudge others. This is not a Cy Twombly; it is a Chuck Csuri. Emilys Scribbles is a beautiful, dynamic, sophisticated image that could only be achieved as it is in the way that Csuri constructed it. In the end, it is gorgeous to look at, triggering an immediate visceral reaction and rewarding close inspection. [TB]

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Charles A. Csuri