Csuri - Analogue Computer analogue

In 1963 I made an analogue computer which I used to make transformations on a drawing. I used it to do a series of drawings based upon the paintings of several old masters. [Klee, Durer, Ingres, Picasso, Goya, and Mondrian.] I had this concept of making transformations on a drawing for nearly 40 years. In fact some of the oil paintings I did in 1960-63 illustrate my fascination with the notion of transformations.

In 1964 I learned the digital computer had been interfaced to a graphics output device. I followed with a course in programming. Then I began producing my first completely digital images.


The drawing device or analogue computer for doing transformations on a drawing was based upon a pantograph. It was able to represent directly measurable quantites and the results could be replicated. Ordinarily, a pantograph was used for copying a plane figure to a desired scale, consisting of styluses mounted on four jointed rods in the form of a parallelogram with extended sides.

I did a variation where I altered the way the device did the change in scale such that my original drawing was transformed in an X or Y direction. I also was able to reverse the orientation of the source drawing. I first made a line drawing interpretation of a famous artist's work. At one end of the pantograph device I traced the line drawing.

Between my end of the extended sides and the end with the ink pen, I altered the behavior of the rods to achieve the transformations. These drawings were made in 1963 the year before I discovered the potential of the digital computer and a graphics output device.

-Charles Csuri