- ACM SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Award in Digital Art
The 2011 ACM SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Award in Digital Art honors Charles Csuri, for his visionary and creative blending of art and technology.
In the 1960s, Charles Csuri envisioned the intertwining of art and computer science that gave rise not only to his own expansive body of work, but inspired generations to embrace computer imaging as a serious form of artistic investigation. As a painter, he was immersed in the passionate discussions of his time, when abstract expressionists challenged everything from the purpose of art to the functions of abstract compositional elements. Through his personal network of colleagues, he was also aware of parallel discourses among scientists who debated the role of computers in society. His profound understanding of these “two cultures” put him in a unique position to merge aesthetics and computing, long before either group recognized the potential synergies.
Combining the two fields at that time was a bold move. As an artist, Csuri had the vision to approach the National Science Foundation, and he succeeded in securing funding to establish a leading center of computer graphics at The Ohio State University. Through his teaching, his research, and his own artistic output he exemplified his convictions not only that the fundamental aesthetic concepts that make conventional media so dynamic could form the basis of computer-generated art, but also that entirely new aesthetic ideals could arise from the incalculable possibilities of computer imaging.
An Ohio native, Csuri attended The Ohio State University, where he studied fine art and also excelled at football, proving that the creative mind can move through any number of obstacles. He received BFA and MA degrees from OSU, was appointed to the faculty in 1949, and in 1971 established the Computer Graphics Research Group that later, as ACCAD, emerged as one of the leading centers for research on the use and integration of emerging arts technologies. Csuri’s work is housed in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the ZKM Center for Art and Media, and numerous other important collections. SIGGRAPH attendees know his work from many SIGGRAPH art shows and a special retrospective at SIGGRAPH 2006.
ACM SIGGRAPH is honored to recognize Charles Csuri. He is a true visionary who decades ago embraced the aesthetic potential of early computer imaging, and since then has unfailingly advanced the field as both educator and creator, keeping us growing, discussing, and moving forward. [End Page 299]