One of the pioneers of the conceptual art movement was the Fluxus collective, a group of artists who busted down notions of “art.” Though they’re known for art books and urban art and noise music, they also produced interesting game design-based pieces that played with the idea of games as art.
A Japanese artist named Takako Saito reworked chess into several different sets: chess based on sound, on smell, on taste. The one pictured above is “Spice Chess.”
In chess, you normally distinguish between your pieces and those of your opponent via sight. Color and shape denote rank and ownership.
But Takako switched things up. She poured spices into identical vials and set them out on the chessboard. Only the taste and smell of the spices could differentiate a pawn from a king, a rook from a queen.
Cinnamon, cumin, ginger, anise. All unique spices that came out to play in the heady, tumultuous 1960s art scene.