Erik Sanner Home Visual Other About


wasn't really sure, when thinking about chess, if people would want to participate, if there would be interest. something have wanted to do for many years.

anyway, today first two pieces complete (of sixty-four). t used to be my neighbor, maya is his neighbor now, both paint.

a few things seemed significant:

- i didn't paint today. in a way, this project, and many of my ideas, are really excuses so i can paint in a post-painting age. but i defined my role as facilitator/referee/recorder.

- there is interest. it was fun for them, fun for me, fun for innocent bystanders. can see more people wanting to get involved in this project, which is very encouraging.

- which is more important, the art or the rules? this is a project about art and rules, basically. well, the answer, today anyway, is beauty wins, aesthetic sensation wins. the first painting had an agreed-upon twenty-minute time limit which was then abolished as neither "player" felt it was finished, didn't feel done to me either, and the timeclock was relegated to neat-idea status.

- improvisation happened, that was a big hope, but you can't tell anyone what to do or how to think. rather, if you do those things, what are you doing? anyway i don't want to tell anyone what to do. certainly not when it comes to creation. none of us had ever painted on a chess board before (i still haven't) or seen it done (although i'm sure it has been done in spades). and there were ample chances before matches to set guidelines. well, they changed, and it was pretty amicable, and obvious to all of us, if something would be more interesting another way - ok an example. during the first piece, color swap - black for white, white for black. very unusual in a chess match for one player to say "ok i want to play white now, let's switch sides or flip the board around." yeah, chess teachers do that, but honest-to-goodness players, not so much i don't think. certainly not in a serious high-stakes game right? but we have two people painting, very sincere, still playful, and they decide to just swap colors. that's what a lot of art is right? making up the rules as you go along? not even the rules, just figuring out whatever you're doing? one of the things i love most about any creative practice is the improvisational element. if i already know what's going to happen or what it will look like, i don't want to do it. both the creator and the viewer can enjoy some kind of surprise, i think, something unexpected - that is very important to me, each day, to try to find something new, or to feel something new, anyway to long for that, and the fluid nature of the way each piece developed, was deeply satisfying.

so thank you t and thank you maya and josh, christine, michael, harley, very much looking forward to doing some of the things we've talked/emailed about, and also people who aren't yet in or interested or aware, i'm so much looking forward to seeing how all this plays out. even if i'm just a bystander, can't think of a better way to make art, today, this month. when all this gets combined into a piece, it's going to be a pretty complex moving painting, with a lot of visible and invisible thoughts underpining it. no idea what it will look like, i hope. i hope whatever i'm imagining is wrong. i don't want to know how this thing will go. i'm pretty excited about seeing it.

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