February 19, 2016 - Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst - Ian Cheng: Forking At Perfection
February 19, 2016

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Ian Cheng, Emissary Forks at Perfection, 2015. Live simulation and story, infinite duration. Courtesy Gallery Pilar Corrias, Standard (Oslo), and the artist.

Ian Cheng
Forking At Perfection
February 20–May 16, 2016

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zurich
Switzerland

T +41 44 277 20 50
F +41 44 277 62 86
info@migrosmuseum.ch

www.migrosmuseum.ch
Facebook

Ian Cheng
Forking At Perfection
February 20–May 16, 2016

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270
8005 Zurich
Switzerland

T +41 44 277 20 50
F +41 44 277 62 86
info@migrosmuseum.ch

www.migrosmuseum.ch
Facebook

The work of the American artist Ian Cheng (b. 1984) explores the nature of mutation and the capacity of humans to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design, improvisation, and Darwinian brutality, Cheng has developed so-called “live simulations,” living virtual ecosystems that begin with basic programmed properties, but are left to self-evolve without authorial control or end. His simulations model the dynamics of often imaginative organisms and ecologies, but do so with the unforgiving causality found in nature itself. What results is a cascade of emergent behaviors that the artist can manage but never truly master. This process is punctuated by states of chaos, collapse, cannibalization, recombination, perfection, luck, and boredom. Cheng, who studied cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley, describes his simulations as akin to a “neurological gym”: a format for viewers to deliberately exercise the feelings of confusion, anxiety, and cognitive dissonance that accompany the experience of unrelenting change. In his first solo exhibition in Switzerland, Cheng presents two versions of the simulation Emissary Forks At Perfection: as a panoramic projection originally shown in 2015; and as its mutation, or “fork,” in the form of a tablet-based experience that invites viewers to physically explore the world of the simulation, its organisms, and its ongoing dynamics.

Ian Cheng (b. 1984, Los Angeles) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Pilar Corrias, London (2015), the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015), Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2015), the Triennale di Milano (2014), and Standard Oslo (2013). Cheng also participated in group exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne (2015), Taipei Biennial (2014), the Lyon Biennial (2013), and Sculpture Center (2012).
 
In June 2016, a companion book including contributions by Raphael Gygax, Julian Jaynes, Ian Cheng, Franziska Bigger, et al. will be published by JRP|Ringier.

The exhibition is curated by Raphael Gygax (Curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst).
Director of the museum: Heike Munder

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Forking At Perfection
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