Duchampian Chess
An Audio and Visual Replay


2.  Jennifer Shahade is a United States chess player, poker player, commentator and writer. She is a two-time United States Women’s Champion and has the FIDE title of Woman Grandmaster.

3.  Produced on a Midi at 66, 92, and 128 beats per minute by Dave Preli.

4. Produced in conjunction with the 
auditory element in Adobe After Affects
by Joel Kern.

5. The printed guide, laser printed on
Japanese rice paper with created
see through between the pages,
acted as a physical guide to support
the digital elements.

In 2009 the exhibition, Marcel Duchamp: Chess Master, opened at the St. Louis University Museum of Art and at the Francis M. Naumann Fine Art Gallery.  This occasion lead to publishing the book Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess1 written by Francis M. Naumann and Bradley Bailey. This book provides fifteen unique games of chess played by Duchamp between 1922 and 1963. These specific games have been chosen to offer additional information into Duchamp’s thinking as both an prolific artist and chess master. The games have been meticulously analyzed by Jennifer Shahade,2 providing the data for our inquiry.

Interested in the all the concepts of chess as well as those of Duchamp as an artist I have chosen to replay the first of the fifteen of games in collaboration with David Preli, a pianist and materials scientist at Yale. Game 1 has been abstracted into three distinct forms: an audio recording,3 a motion sequence4 and a printed guide.5

This is the first of the fifteen chess games published in Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. Game 1 was played in 1922 at the Metropolitan Tournament in New York City between Marcel Duchamp (White) and Martin Schroeder (Black). This game consists of 41 moves from each player resulting in Duchamp (White) resigning after Schroeder (Black) 41st move.