Project Description

Fragments That Remain – Transmediating Charles Csuri’s Random War exhibition December 2012 – January 2013, curated by Lanfranco Aceti and co-curator Vince Dziekan with guest curator Janice Glowski for OCR (Operational and Curatorial Research) and its Media Exhibition Platform (MEP) in collaboration with LEA (Leonardo Electronic Almanac) part of MIT Press and Leonardo.

The main feature of this exhibition was the world premiere of a new transmediated version of digital pioneer Charles Csuri’s celebrated work Random War(1967) which followed an exhibition, Charles Csuri: Sketchbooks of Time, curated by Lanfranco Aceti with newly commissioned artworks premiered at Kasa Gallery, Istanbul.

The online exhibition for OCR sums up several years of collaboration between Charles Csuri, as an artist, and Lanfranco Aceti, as a curator. From the video exhibitions for Geometries of the Sublime and Dislocations on the Media Facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, for the 12th Istanbul Biennial and ISEA2011 to the exhibition in Kasa Gallery, the collaboration between Csuri and Aceti has re-looked at the historical connections between early computer artworks and contemporary aesthetics and social issues.

Arguably one of the most important works of the twentieth century, Random War stands at the convergence of Csuri’s formative computer art practice and the social upheaval centered upon the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. Executed using a mainframe computer, pressing keys, punch cards and drum plotters, Csuri’s drawing captures the chaos of the battlefield by using a random number generator to locate the iconic motif of the “little green army man” on the the printed page. Above this chaotic scene of absurdly rotated and overlapping figures, the artist listed the names of various Ohio State University administrators and faculty staff, along with famous people (including future presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan) under the headings of Dead, Wounded, Missing and Survivors.