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Eight Visual Dialogues

(1998-1999)

Eight Visual Dialogues
1998-1999

First Version, 1998-1999
Six handprinted chessboards, six chess scores, ten handmade wooden stamp-chess pieces, one hanging shelf
Dimensions variable: Chessboards (24 x 24 in each),
chess scores (5 1/4 x 8 in each)
Installation at Houghton Gallery, New York, 1999

Second Version, 1999
Artist book based on 1998-1999 games, chess case with altered brass chess pieces and rubber stamps, chess board sheets for visitors to record their own games (unlimited supply)
Dimensions variable: Artist book (8 1/4 x 8 1/4 in),
chess case (12 x 12 x 2 1/2 in), chess board sheets (11 x 11 in each)
Installation at Baltic: The Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England

This work and artist's book document a set of chess games, which concluded in 1999. Eight people were invited to play. Six of them accepted. Two structures were devised to trace these non-verbal intellectual dialogues. The moves were transcribed into Uedelmann code, originally designed to play chess over the telegraph. The code reduces the moves to a series of monosyllabic utterances.

In addition, the chess pieces themselves were turned into stamps, whose imprints subdivide the squares on which they once stood, allowing a layered and static apprehension of the game. The final players were: Michio Hayachi, David Weir, Doug Ashford, Hans Haacke, Andreas Killen, Day Gleeson, and Pedro Lasch.

While still being able to view the past games through the artist book, the 1999 version also allows new players to use the chess stamps and chess board sheets to record their own games.