A series of works that explore the invisible, elusive nature of thought. Play chess against a transparent intelligence, its evolving thought process visible on the board before you.
Each Thinking Machine is an artificial intelligence program – ready, willing and able to play chess with the viewer. If the viewer confronts the program, the computer’s thought process is sketched on screen as it plays. A map is created from the traces of literally thousands of possible futures as the program tries to decide its best move. Those traces become a key to the invisible lines of force in the game as well as a window into the spirit of a thinking machine. The pace of interaction is deliberative, unlike the rushed tempo of popular video games. Indeed the true subject of the piece is not games or chess, but contemplation and introspection.
Thinking Machine 2: London ICA, 2003, part of the “Work of MW2MW” show.
Thinking Machine 3: Ars Electronica, 2004, part of the “Language of Networks” show.
Thinking Machine 4: Turbulence.org, 2004.
Thinking Table 4: The Art Formerly Known as New Media, 2005. An installation at the Banff Center in Canada. In this version two players play against each other using a touchscreen.
The Thinking Table, a work in progress, is a physical installation in which two people can play a game of chess. As they play, the table illuminates the board with thoughts of the future as seen by the artificial intelligence engine of the Thinking Machines. The board is both the arena in which the two players act, and a thought space in which their linked choices, deliberations and hostilities are made visible.
Above, renderings of Thinking Table. Below, Thinking table at various venues.