Series F 128.07 - SightSoundSystems Festival of Art and Technology

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SightSoundSystems Festival of Art and Technology

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  • Multiple media
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

F 128.07

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  • 1967-1968 (Creation)

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Physical description

2.5 cm of textual records
1 poster : 28 x 45.5 cm

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Custodial history

Scope and content

The records relate to the preparation for the musical chess game, the major event of the SightSoundSystems Festival of Art and Technology, presented by the Isaacs Gallery Mixed Media Concerts and Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Five major events took place throughout the week of March 5 - 10, 1968, including "E.A.T.", "Public Supply", "T.E.A.", "Supersystems", and "Reunion" (the musical chess game).

The chess game, whereby the chessboard was wired to produce musical sounds with every move, was played between French artist and expert chess player, Marcel Duchamps and American avant-garde composer, artist, and theorist, John Cage. It was a banner event for the festival and so named "Reunion" by John Cage reflecting a chess game between the then recently formed friends, Cage and Duchamps at a chess exhibit of paintings and sculptures called, "The Imagery of Chess", held in 1944 New York City.

The artistic director for "Reunion" was Udo Kassemets of the Isaacs Gallery Mixed Media Concerts. Don Gillies of Ryerson Polytechnic Institute was the business manager and Karen (Naylor) Mulhallen of the English Department was the producer for Supersystems and who also worked with Darryl Williams on the film environment.

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The records came directly to the Archives from the creator, Donald (Don) Gillies, in 1984.


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Partially Restricted. Some or all of the records may be subject to restrictions. Requests for access must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections staff for review.

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A filmed tribute to Marcel Duchamp, which includes still photographs of the chess game, was made in 1972 by Shigeko Kubota, in collaboration with John Cage. The film generally consists of optically manipulated images interspersed with conventional imagery, and commentary by John Cage. A videocassette copy of this film can be found in the Ryerson Library under call #N6853.D8M37 (1974).

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No further accruals are expected.

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