As a child, the book 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke ignited Munro’s imagination about all things ‘space’ but it was Stanley Kubrick’s film interpretation of the novel that presented for him, a new perspective on the world. The subtlety of Kubrick’s interpretation of a man-made machine surpassing the intelligence of its human makers was a concept Munro found both chilling and humorous.
Thank You for a Very Enjoyable game is as much about Kubrick’s genius as a filmmaker as it is a stark warning to a world where artificial intelligence and the human condition grow ever closer, a subject so pertinent in a world driven by technology today. The work is also a reflection on Munro’s continued interest in language and literature where written and visual experiences are translated and re-interpreted by him through his work.
Munro’s work creates a visual abstraction of the chess game between the spaceship supercomputer HAL 9000 and the astronaut Dr. Frank Poole. 30 chess boards, inlaid with colored Formica, are positioned in a linear formation tracking the moves made in the chess game. A subtle audio soundtrack of chimes (suggesting a ‘chess clock’ timer) indicating a move has been made by a player. Each square has a designated audio note and is derived from Tingsha – the cymbals used in prayer and rituals by Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. The chime was specifically chosen to emphasize the contemplative nature of the game of chess.