Many, very many years ago I was given a Spirograph design set — that package of plastic gears that can be used to draw intricate geometric shapes. Back then, I got the idea of assigning the various chess pieces to specific gear wheels, and using pens of various colors, to create drawings of actual chess games. I didn’t do it then, but the idea stayed with me, and it’s the inspiration for my Chess Visualization Project (CVP) — transforming chess games into visual depictions.
My goal here is to make art that is rooted in the game of chess. In some cases the depictions will clearly be tethered to the chess board; at other times, that familiar 8 by 8 board will disappear by varying degrees into abstract forms. In all cases, the intention is to make art, but if chess players can use my work in their analyses of the game, or recognize the styles of grandmasters in my abstractions, all the better.
I am in the early stage of the project, writing basic routines to handle chess games, learning the “Processing” software language to generate the depictions, and creating rudimentary depictions to experiment with what seems to be an infinite variety of possible presentations. I’m trying to get a sense of what can happen with movement and shapes and color. In particular, I want to see what approaches might illuminate differences among games.
What is presented here is a static set of depictions in the form of videos. The next step is to create an interactive environment where visitors can select chess games and modify the parameters that control the depictions. Hope to see you in the future when that’s ready.
So, here is the start … take a look at the depictions and send me comments if you like.