2006  /  Concept & Execution

"Shuffle" is a work about the underlying pattern logic of the rules of games and puzzles. The piece was enacted at the Game Show exhibit at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit

"Shuffle" manifests the steps required for 2 distinct equal sets of units arranged in a linear sequence on opposing sides with a single blank position between them to completely interchange their positions given the constraints of:

  1. The ability to advance into a blank position either by moving a single position, or by side-stepping a single unit of the opposing side
  2. The inability to retreat

The total number of steps required for such a transformation (including the starting configuration) = the square of (the number of units per set + 1).

"Shuffle" is effectively an overdetermined puzzle, the object of which is to get the player(s) to realize the pattern and generate the artwork within the timeframe they might plausibly devote to such a problem in the context of an art exhibition. The scale of the piece encourages collaborative and cumulative effort, and turns mathematical problem-solving into performance.

Initial state
completed state
pattern of open posiiton

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