I find this collection an interesting and odd collaboration of new and old material. There seem to be lots of pieces rediscovering and reinterpreting older obscure art and literary works. The collection seems to have the goal of mining the past for rarities as well as exploring emerging works. The piece on Nadleman’s Standing Nude was one example of this examination of a piece I would not expect to see in a collection of contemporary. It was interesting to see it examined from a fresh perspective. The breath of material included this book was a bit disorienting to me but its range held my interest.
One piece I was especially interested in was Francis M. Naumann's attempt at solving Marcel Duchamp's unsolvable chess problem Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled . (It’s weird to think of Duchamp taking a hiatus from art to practicing his extreme chess master skills.) I looked the nature of this essay up on the internet and it said: Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled deals with endgame theory in chess specifically analyzing positions in which only kings and pawns remain, including the incredibly rare and even more obscure Lasker-Reichelm position. The Lasker-Reichelm is a position in which both kings are still free to move and white has 4 pawns all blocked – unable to move – by black’s three pawns. Those are all the pieces on the board and – from what I have been able to carefully gather – black can only hope for a draw and, given competent play, can produce one all the time.
I think it’s interesting to explore the process of chess as one would explore the process of art rather than looking to win or solely at the product/piece. This process of creating and the perspectives and possibilities this opens up to the viewer seems to be a prevalent theme in this collection from the Carbo's poem to the ghost weave.