Playing Duchamp

Scott Kildall just wrote an email to his followers that said, "I just finished a recent Turbulence commission called "Playing Duchamp" -- in which I have reprogrammed a chess computer to play chess as if it were Marcel Duchamp."

Here is the link:

This is an exciting venture that Kildall has been working on for some time. While we didn't follow the step-by-step intricacies of his programming adventure, we know the San Francisco Bay Area has lately been a hotbed of Duchampian activity with curatorial projects and recent exhibitions, such as The Seduction of Duchamp.

Marcel Duchamp is widely recognized for his contribution to conceptual art, but his lifelong obsession was the game of chess, in which he achieved the rank of Master. Working with the records of his chess matches, I have created a computer program to play chess as if it were Marcel Duchamp. I invite all artists, skilled and unskilled at this classic game, to play against a Duchampian ghost.

Kildall’s email continues, "I am inviting you … to play against this conceptual art master. As part of the ongoing project, I am doing chess analysis on selected games and I would like to include yours as well." Elegantly, Kildall provides us with selected results (from about 300 games) at this link:

It's gracious of him to let us know (in italics!), "You don't have to play chess well to play" and I'm grateful, having never mastered the game despite lifelong attempts to play beyond my father's opening gambits.

Kildall invites us to pass the announcement and link on friends and colleagues. Nice.

Scott Kildall continues to pursue some of the most interesting, art related, brainiac projects around. He can be found virtually at