Irresponsible Mediums: The Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp by Aaron Tucker


Irresponsible Mediums: The Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp by Aaron Tucker


With an Introduction by Jennifer Shahade


In 1968, avant-garde artist Marcel Duchamp and composer John Cage exhibited Reunion, a chess performance that took place in Toronto. Whenever Duchamp or Cage moved a piece, it generated a musical note until the game was transformed into a symphony.

Inspired by this performance, Irresponsible Mediums—poet and academic Aaron Tucker’s second full-length collection of poems—translates Duchamp’s chess games into poems using the ChessBard (an app co-created by Tucker and Jody Miller) and in the process, recreates Duchamp’s joyous approach to making art, while also generating startling computer-made poems that blend the analog and digital in strange and surprising combinations.

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“Ever since the IBM computer Deep Blue vanquished Garry Kasparov in a 1997 match, the odds of the strongest grandmasters beating the strongest computer programs at chess continues to diminish. Even as the popularity of chess soars in many areas, artificial chess intelligence is now assumed dominant. We no longer bother with highly publicized Man vs. Machine matches, because the computers would win too easily. By placing poetry side by side with chess, Aaron Tucker reminds us of a not too distant past when we thought a chess-playing robot was far-fetched, and must and may have a human brain underneath it all.”
—from the Introduction to Irresponsible Mediums by Jennifer Shahade, two time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion.

Aaron Tucker’s poetic works and reviews have been published across Canada. His publications include: apartments (shortlisted for the 2010 bpNichol Chapbook award), apartments, section three, and the full length collection, punchlines. He also published a collection of essays, Interfacing with the Internet in Popular Cinema, with Palgrave-Macmillan in July 2014. Tucker is a professor in the English department at Ryerson University, where he teaches essay writing and digital literacy to first-year students.

5 October 2017 | Poetry
5.24×8.75 inches | 112 pages
Trade Paper: 9781771663342 $18.00
Author Hometown: Toronto, ON


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