Join us live for a virtual lecture by artist Ian Cheng followed by an audience Q&A.
Drawing on principles of video game design, improvisation, and cognitive science, Ian Cheng's practice explores the nature of mutation and the capacity of humans to relate to change. He produces computer-generated simulations whose complex ecosystems are programmed to evolve without end. These projects culminated in the Emissaries trilogy (2014–17), a set of works in which the motivation of a narrative agent—the emissary—is set into conflict with the open-ended chaos of the simulation. In 2019, he debuted BOB (Bag of Beliefs), an AI creature whose personality, body, and life story evolve across exhibitions, what Cheng calls “art with a nervous system.”
Recent solo exhibitions include: Life After Bob, The Shed, New York (2021); Ian Cheng: BOB, Gladstone Gallery, New York (2019); Ian Cheng Emissaries, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (2018); Ian Cheng: BOB, Serpentine Gallery, London (2018); Ian Cheng: Emissaries, MoMA PS1, New York (2017); Ian Cheng: Forking at Perfection, Migros Museum, Zurich (2016); and Ian Cheng: Emissary in the Squat of Gods, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Italy (2015). Recent group exhibitions include: Mud Muses, Moderna Museet, Stockhom (2019); If the Snake, Okayama Art Summit, Japan (2019); May You Live in Interesting Times, Venice Biennale (2019); New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2019); Leaving the Echo Chamber, Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2019); Low Form. Imaginaries and Visions in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, MAXXI, Rome (2018); and I Was Raised on the Internet, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018).
Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation’s Conversations at the Edge series.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
View the Ian Cheng SAIC Flaxman Library Resource Guide for additional information about the artist.