10117 Berlin

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press release

Ian Cheng. Emissaries
27.04.2018 - 01.07.2018
Opening: 26.04.2018 19:00–22:00

The JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION is delighted to present the complete trilogy Emissaries (2015–17) by American artist Ian Cheng for the first time in Germany.

Ian Cheng creates live simulations that explore the nature of mutation and our capacity to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design and cognitive science, the simulations feature characters programmed with behavioral drives, but left to self-evolve amidst otherworldly environmental conditions.

Emissaries is a trilogy of live simulations about cognitive evolution, past and future, and the ecological conditions that shape it. It is composed of three interconnected episodes, each centered on the life of a narrative agent—the Emissary—who attempts to achieve a series of narrative goals, only to be disrupted by the underlying simulation and deviate into new directions. In this way, Emissaries imagines stories that can break their classical determinism, and simulations that acknowledge the influence of inner fictions on how we act upon the external world.

The presentation includes the computer-generated simulations Emissary In the Squat of Gods (2015), Emissary Forks At Perfection (2015–16), and Emissary Sunsets the Self (2017), as well as 64 drawings from the making of Emissaries. On display for the first time, the drawings offer a unique insight into how Cheng’s complex simulations arise.

Ian Cheng was born 1984 in Los Angeles. He lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York (2017), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2017), Migros Museum, Zurich (2016), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015), Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (2015), the Triennale di Milano (2014). Group exhibitions include Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen (2017), Yokohama Triennale (2017), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2016), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016), Taipei Biennale (2014), 12th Biennale de Lyon (2013), Sculpture Center (2012).