Ian Cheng

This event has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 6:00p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium
230 S. Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL
United States

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: 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, Turin, 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, MoMA, 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, MCA Chicago (2018).

2014–20, United States, multiple formats, ca 75 minutes 

Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program and the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation’s Conversations at the Edge Series

Ian Cheng's website

Gladstone Gallery

Pilar Corrias Gallery

BOB Shrine App

Aima, Rahel. “BOB Meets World: Ian Cheng Arrives at the Venice Biennale with his AI Simulations,” Cultured. 7 May 2019

Comer, Stuart. “Ian Cheng’s Emissaries,” MoMA Magazine. 6 March 2019

Armstrong, Annie. “‘There’s Something Maniacal About Basic Desires’: Ian Cheng on His Gladstone Gallery Show, Artificial Intelligence, and His Fear of Snakes,” ARTnews. 4 February 2019