Tuesday, May 6, 2014

readymake - duchamp's chess set

Bryan Cera recently collaborated with artist Scott Kildall on a project to recreate Marcel Duchamp's favorite hand-carved chess set. Bryan blogged about his work on the project and Scott blogs about the thought process behind the project and talks about of the "Readymake". Scott writes...

"The concept of the Readymake is that we are transforming a photograph of a lost object in time (Duchamp’s hand-carved chess set) into a set of 3D-printable objects that anyone with a 3D printer can reproduce. Each 3D print takes on different material properties due to the translation process from virtual to physical, making variations on these “art objects”." 

The files for Duchamp's chess set is located on Thingiverse and anyone can now print their own copy of Duchamp's favorite chess set. I had noticed the files when Bryan first posted them to Thingiverse and I actually downloaded the files before reading any info on Bryan's or Scott's blog that mentioned the project. I thought this would make a great chess set to print for the lab or to have at home for the occasional chess game. Several days later, Bryan contacted me and asked if I would be willing to print the pieces in the set and then photograph them in a similar fashion as the photographs of Duchamp's set. I printed my "Readymake" on my Makerbot Replicator 2X and used a raft and supports that were color matched to the black ABS. I have yet to print the other color for the complete set, but will get to that in a couple days. I also have some other plans for the current set that I will post in a few days. In the mean time I figured I would shoot some photographs of the unaltered set. 

The above photographs from the top down represent: my single black set photographed in color (2 photographs of the same set with only the knight turned - I still need to print and shoot the turned knight set in a different color), the same two photographs in greyscale, the photographs of Duchamp's set showing white and black sets, a photograph of Duchamp playing chess, and a photograph of my 3D printed "Readymake" chess set on the bed of the Makerbot.

I noticed Pete is also working on printing a set; good to see. Look for updates on my set coming soon.


Ju Xuv said...


The files seem to have disappeared from the net (or at least thingiverse). Do you still have them? WOuld you mind sending them to me? Thx.

Ju Xuv said...

Thanks for the reply.
Did find them after all.
There is a copy of them here now: https://github.com/moderation/duchamp

By any chance do you know what happened? Why did they were pulled out of the net? And why Bryan and Scott don't seem to mention it anymore on their blog?


Ju Xuv said...


A law suit is complete non-sense. I don't even think this would hold much long in court either.

This is either an obvious parody here or a complete new body of work, as this is not a copy, but just a reference.

Maybe the complain was about the use of Duchamp's name. Maybe they should have called it "Rrose Selavy Chess Set". That could have worked.

Well, I'm saying all this, but of course, they were not threatening to sue me. I might have acted as Bryan and Scott.