The Rules of the Game Project


The ideology of individualism requires the maintenance of some semblance of interpersonal difference. The horror produced by the idea of cloning, or the imagined forced conformity of communist society, is surely tied to a certain attachment to the idea of difference. At the same time, conformity exerts a strong influence and difference is disciplined away.

0502.2156 (audio version)

There is an unfortunate sense of naturalness in the use of the screen as the main output device for computational experiments. It is common to divide generative art from generative music, but there is no real necessity for the distinction; the underlying structures and code may be almost identical.


This game models the self-amending rule set that is the basis of the American legal system. Suber, a logician, was interested in the paradoxes that arise in a system where logical contradictions inside of a self-amending rule set cannot be straightforwardly resolved.

Super Imposition

Observe that even without a grid, the rooms you now inhabit are partitioned and assigned specific uses. How have these been determined and allotted? How is that one corner has become the territory of a certain artist, and one wall, the domain of another? This exhibition was "designed"; that is, the space was divided up and allocated to the participants.

Disposition of the Space

Ever since the enclosing of the commons, there seems to have been a tendency for all grouped uses of space to reenact that tragedy on a petty scale. We have so well unlearned the communal use of space, that it is practically inconceivable; its laws and its rights are lost. Space is received by a group as a whole and in common, but its use is understood as individual and exclusive.

Contest: War and Peace

There is a new archive of photography, and the photograph itself is changed. The archive is the structured columnar accumulation of endless banality to which any- and everyone contributes, and from which we all can also retrieve at will, and through those same worn channels, not just the singular image, but a stream of categorical similitude.

Game Board

The rule exists as a social given, like language, that precedes our presence and conditions our participation as the horizon of social legibility. Apprehension of convention in this manner, as fixed and immutable, suspends us in the place of the other, somehow outside of the history of consensus-making, and outside of the political, and therefore, merely subject to it.

Floor Plan

Entering a space makes us subject to its rules; the door divides our attention between a self-conscious appraisal of our conformity to law, and a referencing of the room's markers of convention with our internalized archive of applicable statute. It is rare that habitation includes an invitation to invent a manner of being in the place.

The Only Rule You May Be Told Is This One

The game of Mao has many rules, but only one that is spoken: "The only rule that may be told is this one." This game models a rule set located in the social in such a way that the articulation of the rules is prohibited while their obsessive instantiation is required.

The Rules of the Game | The Game of the Rules

If life were a game, what game would it be? … It must be either war or race; in either case, it is a contest. The abstract field of contest is a schematic representation of the territory beneath our feet: a map of the world. It is at once a field of combat as an un-owned commons, and the territorialized space of land as possession, with all places and possible positions marked out. Against this grid the move is made; the move is measured. The pieces find their places.