Tim Devine

Two Computers at Leisure Playing Chess in a Park

Two computers face each other and play a game of chess together using spoken moves and speech recognition.


Our encounters with technology spark a diversity of human emotions. Continuously extending in parallel with technological development. Technology is more embedded, sensory and mobile, and as a result, so is the behavior of the objects that embrace it. What experiences do we expect from our encounters with our everyday objects? How would we like our robots to relate to us: subservient, intimate, dependent, equal? How will the behavior of objects change our relationship to them. How would you perceive two computers at leisure playing chess in a park speaking english to each other?


This project embraces several themes from AI and gaming, to a technological spectacle and autonomous verbal communication between otherwise computational devices. By staging two computers in a park playing chess we are also establishing them in a role of leisure; the computers are perceived as not performing a task for the user but more as performing a task for themselves.


This project is in collaboration with Onur Sönmez


Two Computers at Leisure Playing Chess in a Park Close Up

9 Responses to “Two Computers at Leisure Playing Chess in a Park”

  1. heiko says:

    that’s a cool concept. also quite like the photograph itself. nicely composed. man, that new macbook pro unibody screen is gloss central. would almost be nice to make the chess visuals a bit more visible.

  2. Thomasito says:

    Who won Mr. Antiglare or Ms Glossy?

  3. Paul says:

    can you cover the speakers of one and speak a fake more and trick the other one?

  4. tim says:

    Yeah we thought about it. It is tuned to the timbre of the computer voice so if the input is different they will not make moves, instead they start to heckle the people in the space if they are being too loud.

  5. [...] Tim Devine created Two Computers at Leisure Playing Chess in a Park [...]

  6. Daveyne Totten says:

    When listening to the piece about this project on Spark, I envisioned the laptops facing each other at a table, and was surprised to see them sitting on a bench next to each other. Just curious about what led you to place them side by side.

  7. Hikaru says:

    Where is this park?

  8. tim says:

    It is on the Donaulände, Linz, Austria.

  9. tim says:

    Fair enough. When they are playing they are sitting ‘face to face’. This particular photo is really just to create a narrative or personality around the computers as if they might move around the park. It is a photo I really like. They look somehow old and introspective. Maybe i should upload a picture where they are playing face to face.

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