Charles A. Csuri

A Happy Time/Ribbon Romp


Computer, AL

76 x 102 cm (30 x 40 in.)

A Happy Time, also known as Ribbon Romp, is a digital art piece by Charles Csuri, who is credited with creating the first piece of computer generated art in 1964. Csuri’s style of art generally incorporates “algorithmic painting”, or using algorithms to generate shapes, patterns, colors and textures within a program (The program Csuri uses is called AL, which is a customized subset of the programming language Scheme[2]). Combining these algorithmically generated values with basic 3D models allows him to modify the appearances of these models in a 3D environment and use the algorithms to individualize the values of each one, allowing for the creation of unique spaces. In the case of A Happy Time/Ribbon Romp, Csuri used 5 identical basic models in the same pose and applied an algorithmic code to weave a series of generated ribbons through the model bodies, giving them their unique colors and structures. Regarding the inspiration of the piece, Csuri states, “My young granddaughter Hannah was the influence on this piece. I love her work, and I just wanted to see if I could achieve something of the feel of her work.[1]” Because of his early involvement in computer graphics and creating the first computer generated artwork, Csuri is widely recognized as the father of computer animation and art. He co-founded among the first computer animation companies (Cranston/Csuri Productions) and established several institutions dedicated to the teaching and development of digital art[3]. Csuri regards his work with computer art to be more suiting to his methods than his initial painting medium. He states that the relationships between aspects such as size, positioning and colors within a space had a greater importance to him, more the case than showing emotion through his brushstrokes[4].




[1]: Image, basic information and artist statement

[2]: Software information

[3]: Biographical info

[4]: Quote and image examples