Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514a , Case RK, Shelf 26, Box R

Random War

Lithograph
1967 (made), 1968 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is one of a set of seven lithographs by different artists, published by Motif Editions in connection with Cybernetic Serendipity, a major exhibition held at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1968. The portfolio includes two works by the Computer Technique Group, plus single works by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer, William Fetter, Maughan S. Mason, Donald K. Robbins, and Kerry Strand. The complete set was acquired by the Museum in 1969, at a cost of £5.

Csuri's image of iconic American toy soldiers is based on a larger artwork that also included a computer-generated list of soldiers' names. At random, the program decided who would be killed, wounded, missing or commended in battle. The original work was produced in 1967, when anti-Vietnam war sentiment was at its height.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Lithograph after a computer-generated plotter drawing
Brief Description
Lithograph after a computer graphic, entitled 'Random War, by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer, 1967. From the Cybernetic Serendipity collector's set, 1968.
Physical Description
Lithograph in black and red ink on paper
Dimensions
  • Height: 28cm
  • Length: 21.8cm
Content description
toy soldiers
Production typeLimited edition
Gallery Label
Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers (2018) CHARLES CSURI (born 1922) Random War Published by Motif Editions, London, 1968 Charles Csuri’s image of American toy soldiers is a detail from a larger artwork that also included a list of soldiers’ names. A pseudo-random number generator determined the distribution and position of the soldiers shown on the battlefield. The program also arbitrarily decided who would be killed, wounded, missing or commended in battle. Csuri made the original work in 1967, when anti-Vietnam War sentiment was at its height. Made in the USA, 1967 Lithograph, after a computer-generated plotter drawing Museum no. Circ.775-1969(07/07/2018-18/11/2018)
Credit line
Acquired from Motif Editions in 1970.
Object history
Cybernetic Serendipity (Institute of Contemporary Arts 01/01/1968-31/12/1968)
Summary
This is one of a set of seven lithographs by different artists, published by Motif Editions in connection with Cybernetic Serendipity, a major exhibition held at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1968. The portfolio includes two works by the Computer Technique Group, plus single works by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer, William Fetter, Maughan S. Mason, Donald K. Robbins, and Kerry Strand. The complete set was acquired by the Museum in 1969, at a cost of £5.



Csuri's image of iconic American toy soldiers is based on a larger artwork that also included a computer-generated list of soldiers' names. At random, the program decided who would be killed, wounded, missing or commended in battle. The original work was produced in 1967, when anti-Vietnam war sentiment was at its height.
Bibliographic Reference
Taken from Departmental Circulation Register 1969
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.775-1969

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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