Notes on Blocks
On Chess
This piece came out of one of our “Are.na Walkthroughs” in which we ask people to take us through a particular channel, the blocks and ideas held within, and the ways those ideas may have evolved as the channel has grown and accumulated. Our third one was on June 25th over Zoom, and it featured Ephraim Johnson, Casey Tang, Sienna Kwami, and Tiger Dingsun. Here, Ephraim shares some of what he talked about while walking us through his channel Internal Knowledge Chess Team.”
I started the channel “Internal Knowledge Chess Team” in 2018 or 2019. I had just moved and started a new job, and I’d really gotten back into chess. I wanted to explore the different ways I could draw a correlation between sports and art through an African American, abstract, playful, creative, tech, stylish, and instinctual perspective.
I wanted to do my best to make it into a perspective never before seen, but one that also felt good to the eye. I wanted to encourage people to ask “why do I like this?” and then dig deeper. One of the main ethos of IK is to refine curiosity outside of the algorithm and based on the world we live in now, and I think chess is a game that can help us do that. Hope you all enjoy these blocks from the channel.
This is a popular scene from “The Wire” in which young men are playing checkers with chess pieces. They’re reluctant to learn how to use the pieces correctly at first, but once taught, they start to use these skills in everyday life. To me, this shows how chess is a game that allows people to see things from different perspectives.
This is from an interview with David Hammons in 1986. I believe it speaks true to the artist, athlete, chess player, or person.
This is Sam Lucente’s "Diagram of Logic Chip and Corresponding Microchip," which performs several different arithmetic and logic functions and is used to assist microprocessors in personal computers.
This is from Paul Rand’s book A Designer’s Art. In it, he talks about how the artist is a collector of things imaginary or real.
I like this block because it represents how one move or idea in chess can spark a countless number of ideas that make the whole. 
Ephraim Johnson is a Caribbean gifted creative from Alabama and New York. He advocates for enhancing curiosity and psychological freedom through his brand Internal Knowledge.
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