Monday, September 10, 2012

The Infinite Art Tournament Turns 1: The Gross Misapprehension

The Gross Misapprehension

I've spent a year -- not all of the year, of course, just my leisure time -- lovingly designing this unreal tournament around the original core list of 1000 artists.  As you know, I've provided a suitably overbuilt system to bring in additional 24 Play-In Artists in order to arrive at a tournament-friendly total of 1024 competitors. It's all very lovely.

Then, last week, I actually took a closer look at that original list.  Turns out there’s not 1000 artists on it.  There’s only 500.

Well, naturally I felt a great sense of loss to see our 14-year enterprise shrink so radically and immediately to a mere 7 or 8 years.  I experimented with supplemental lists that could bring us up to the originally promised 1000 + 24, but all of the approaches I could think of had serious procedural issues (all of which boil down, in essence, to having a strong half and a weak half to a bracket whose defining feature is that it is completely unseeded.  Quite unacceptable, as I'm sure you'll agree.).

Now With 50% Less Infinity

Nothing for it, then, but to accept the inevitable.  The Infinite Art Tournament is only half as infinite as we thought.  (If you are thinking "Only a quarter!  Only a quarter!" you have the same intuitive sense as I did, but I ran the numbers and it's not right.  It's only a half, or a tiny tiny bit less than a half.)  All previous predictions of artist entry times are off.  The plan announced Friday of having Fourth-Round Matches on the weekends will assuage our collective sense of loss a little by stretching out the fun – it will take 12.5% longer to work our way through the (cruelly truncated) First Round.

Who suffers the most?  The Play-In Artists, of course.  Where at first 96 nominees needed to battle down to 24 to join a 1000+24 tournament, now only 12 will emerge to join the original list in a 500+12 showdown.  Brutal! 

And in case the above hasn't been dorky enough for you, here’s how the rules will be revised:

SubTournament Rules and Logistics (revised 9/10/12)!!

Phase 1:  96 nominees will compete in 12 flights of eight artists apiece between July 2012 and June 2013.  These flights have been designated and internally ordered by a random number generator.  Each voter may identify up to four preferred artists per flight.  All SubTournament flights will be kept open for voting for approximately two months.

Phase 2: Artists will be ranked according to their number of votes received as a percentage of all votes cast in their initial flight.  The first-, second-, and third-place artists in each flight will advance
, as will the next 12 highest-ranked "wild card" artists.  The 48 36 artists so selected will be grouped by "serpentine seeding" into a new 12 flights of four three artists apiece.  These seeded contests should begin about August 2013 and continue through the Summer of 2014.  Each voter will be allowed a single vote up to two preferred artists per flight in Phase 2.

Phase 3: The first
- and second-place artists in each Phase 2 flight will enter the regular tournament in the first round versus artists that tied in their initial first-round contests.  These matches will occupy the first of the four matches in each bracket cluster of eight, as needed and available, with the first available artist in each category (formerly tied artists and successful play-in artists) selected according to alphabetical order.  The first such match should occur in or around October 2013, with the winner alphabetically prior of the two winners of the first Phase 2 flight taking on Andre Beauneveu, the "upper" of the first pair of artists to fight to a tie in the first round.


The IAT team apologizes for any confusion or consternation caused by the above.  Please give full vent to your feelings in the comments.


Elizabeth said...

Vector calculus.

Michael5000 said...

Or something.

Mm Mud said...

'50% less infinity"- I'm still wrapping my head around that!

sisterjen said...

Nerd. Nerd nerd nerd.

jaycee1 said...

Mystifying! Maybe I'll just watch.

Michael5000 said...

jaycee1: It's perfectly acceptable to vote without worrying about how everything works under the hood!