Ian Cheng

Ian Cheng’s work explores the nature of mutation and the capacity of humans to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design, improv, and cognitive science, Cheng has developed “live simulations”, living virtual ecosystems that begin with basic programmed properties, but are left to self-evolve without authorial intent or end. His simulations model the dynamics of often imaginative organisms and objects, 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 control. Cheng describes his simulations as akin to a “neurological gym”: a format for viewers to deliberately exercise feelings of confusion, anxiety, and cognitive dissonance that accompany the experience of unrelenting change. Through simulations, Cheng wonders if it’s possible to love these difficult feelings and refactor our relationship to indeterminacy as a feature of being alive today, not a bug.

Current and recent solo exhibitions include: EMISSARY FORKS featuring THOUSAND ISLANDSEspace Louis Vuitton München (in association with KINO DER KUNST Festival), Munich (2017); EMISSARIES, MoMA PS1, New York (2017); Forking at Perfection, Migros Museum, Zurich, curated by Raphael Gygax (2016); Emissary Forks At Perfection, at Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (2015); Emissary in the Squat of Gods at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015); Real Humans, with Wu Tsang, Jordan Wolfson, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (2015); Ian Cheng, La Triennale di Milano, Milan (2014); Baby feat. Bali, Standard (Oslo), Oslo (2013); Entropy Wrangler, Off Vendome, Düsseldorf (2013); Too Humans All Too Humans, Vanity, Los Angeles (2013); and This Papaya Tastes Perfect, Formalist Sidewalk Poetry Club, Miami Beach (2011). Recent group exhibitions include: Liverpool Biennial (2016); WELT AM DRAHT, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (2016); Stranger, MOCA, Cleveland (2016); Suspended Animation, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington (2016); Co-Workers, Musee d’Moderne Paris (2015); Co-Workers: Beyond Disaster, Bétonsalon, Paris (2015); Works on Paper, Greene Naftali, New York (2015); Taipei Biennial – The Great Acceleration, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2014); Phantom Limbs, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (2014); chatbots, tongues, denial, and various other abstractions, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2014); Season Eight: Pierre Huyghe, The Artist’s Institute, New York (2014); 12th Lyon Biennial – Meanwhile, suddenly, and then, Le Sucriere, Lyon (2013); Freak Out, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (2013); ProBio, Expo1, MoMA PS1, New York (2013); and A Disagreeable Object, Sculpture Center, New York (2012).

Born 1984 in Los Angeles, United States
Lives and works in New York

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017
EMISSARIES, MoMA PS1 (curated by Peter Eleey with Jocelyn Miller), New York – US
EMISSARY FORKS featuring THOUSAND ISLANDSEspace Louis Vuitton München (in association with KINO DER KUNST Festival), Munich – DE

2016
Forking at Perfection, Migros Museum, Zurich – CH

2015
Emissary Forks At Perfection, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London – UK
Emissary in the Squat of Gods, Standard (Oslo), Frieze New York – US
Emissary in the Squat of Gods, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin – IT
Real Humans, with Wu Tsang, Jordan Wolfson, curated by Elodie Evers, Irina Raskin, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf – DE

2014
Ian Cheng, curated by Filipa Ramos & Organised by Edoardo Bonaspetti, Triennale Di Milano,  Milan – IT

2013
Baby Feat. Bali, Standard (Oslo), Oslo – NO
Entropy Wrangler, Off Vendome, Düsseldorf – DE
Too Humans All Too Humans, Vanity, Los Angeles – US

2011
This Papaya Tastes Perfect, Formalist Sidewalk Poetry Club, Miami – US

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
Suspended Animation: Headlong into digital space, Les Abattoirs, Musée FRAC Occitanie, Toulouse – FR
Generation Loss: 10 Years Julia Stoschek Collection, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf – DE
Shanghai Project Chapter 2 Exhibition: Seeds of Time, Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Envision Pavilion, Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum (curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist), Shanghai – CN
BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights , Tate Modern (curated by Catherine Wood and Andrea Lissoni), London – UK
After us , K11 Art Foundation, in partnership with the New Museum, New York (curated by Lauren Cornell),Shanghai – CN

2016
Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art 1905–2016, Whitney Museum, New York – US
Take Me (I’m Yours), Jewish Museum, New York – US
Overpop, curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Yuz Museum, Shanghai – CN
Liverpool Biennial 2016, Liverpool – UK
WELT AM DRAHT, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin – DE
Suspended Animation, curated by Gianni Jetzer, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington – US
Stranger, MOCA, Cleveland – US

2015
Co-Workers, curated by Angeline Scherf & Toke Lykkeberg & DIS, Musee d’Moderne Paris – FR
Co-Workers: Beyond Disaster, curated by Mélanie Bouteloup & Garance Malivel, Bétonsalon, Paris – FR
Works on Paper, Greene Naftali, New York – US
Screen Play, curated by Cathleen Chaffee, Albright-Knox, Buffalo – US
Open Source, curated by Lisa Schiff, Leslie Fritz, Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, Hetzler, Berlin – DE

2014
Taipei Biennial – The Great Acceleration, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei – TW
Phantom Limbs, Pilar Corrias, London – UK
Technokinesis, curated by Jenny Jaskey & Andrea Neustein, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, New York – US
Dreams that money can’t buy, curated by Cura Magazine, MAXXI Museo delle Arti del XXI secolo, Rome – IT
chatbots, tongues, denial, and various other abstractions, curated by Jacob King, Bortolami Gallery, New York – US
Season Eight: Pierre Huyghe, curated by Jenny Jaskey, The Artist’s Institute, New York – US
International Women’s Day, Night Gallery, Los Angeles – US

2013
The Time Machine, curated by Cura Magazine, Cura Basement, Rome – IT
Love of Technology, curated by Alex Gartenfeld, Museum of Contemporary Art Miami, Miami – US
12th Lyon Biennial – meanwhile, suddenly, and then, curated by Gunnar Kvaran, Le Sucriere, Lyon – FR
Freak Out, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York – US
ProBio, Expo1, curated by Josh Kline, MoMA PS1, New York – US
HMV, curated by Alex Shulan, Foxy Production, New York – US
3D MODELS, curated by Dis, DisImages.com
EIN HAMMER AUF DEN KOPF KANN DIE SEELE VERLETZEN, curated by Adam Harrison, Volker Bradtke, Düsseldorf – DE

2012
A Disagreeable Object, curated by Ruba Katrib, Sculpture Center, New York – US
A programming language, curated by Kari Rittenbach, Primary Work Surface, London – UK
how to download a boyfriend, curated by Badlands Unlimited, iTunes Store
POST MoDERN, curated by Clayton Deutsch, Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami – US
You told me the other night, West Street Gallery, New York – US

2011
December, curated by Howie Chen, Mitchell-Innes and Nash, New York – US

2009
Columbia University MFA Thesis Show, Fisher Landau Center for Arts, New York – US

COMMISSIONS

2016
Bad Corgi, Serpentine Galleries Digital Commission, a mindfulness app for iOS

2013
3D MODELS looking for work, DisMagazine, with Preston Chaunsumlit

2012
Liars – Brats, Liars, Mute, music video

SELECTED TEXTS

2016
Gianni Jetzer, Portrait Ian Cheng, Spike Art Quaterly, April
Ben Vickers, Hermetic Engineering, Artforum, March

2015
Ian Cheng, Live Simulations, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Spector Books
Forking at Perfection, Mousse Magazine, No.49

2014
Infinite Game of Thrones, Mousse Magazine, No.46, Artist’s Words
On Cartooning, Artforum summer issue
Interview, with Thor Shannon, Out of Order Mag No.4
Art Inside Us, Cura Magazine no.16

2013
Future Fictions, Frieze issue 156
Where is Production? Inquiries into Contemporary Sculpture, published by Sculpture Center
Interview, with Kari Rittenbach, Frieze issue 155
Interview, with Dylan Kerr, Bomb Magazine

EVENTS/SCREENINGS

2014
Art Basel Salon, Media Death, Miami – US
Seven on Seven, Rhizome, New Museum, New York – US
Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor – US
International Film Festival, Rotterdam – NL

2013
Migrating Forms, BAM, New York – US
Off The Air, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network – US
New Director’s Showcase, Cannes Lion – FR

2012
BUG, British Film Institute, Southbank, London – UK

AWARDS, GRANTS AND RESIDENCIES

2017
The Award for Filmic Oeuvre, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris – FR
2013
New Director’s Showcase, Cannes Lion
2012
Rema Hort Mann Foundation, Visual Arts Grantee
2008
Ninah and Michael Lynne Fellowship
2006
Eisner Award for Film and Video, Berkeley Pacific Film Archive

EDUCATION

2009
MFA Visual Arts, Columbia University, New York
2006
BA Cognitive Science, BA Art Practice, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

An Evening with Ian Cheng at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

An Evening with Ian Cheng at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

This screening and discussion with Ian Cheng marks the completion of his Emissary trilogy, recently acquired by MoMA, and on view at MoMA PS1, April 9–September 10, 2017. Emissary comprises a trio of Cheng’s “live simulations,” animations that explore the … More

Ian Cheng “Emissaries” at MoMA PS1, New York

Ian Cheng "Emissaries" at MoMA PS1, New York

MoMA PS1 presents Ian Cheng’s first US museum solo presentation, featuring the artist’s complete Emissary trilogy (2015–17), a series of live simulation works created using a video game engine. Described by the artist as “a video game that plays itself”, … More

Ian Cheng on the Society of Mind, SI: Visions

Ian Cheng on the Society of Mind, SI: Visions

SI: Visions is a groundbreaking online video series, exploring the ideas and fascinations of some of today’s most forward-looking artists. Capturing a first-person point of view, these video essays are made in close collaboration with each artist, giving audiences immersive … More

Ian Cheng at the K11 Art Museum, Shanghai

Ian Cheng at the K11 Art Museum, Shanghai

Ian Cheng is taking part in The K11 Art Foundations first major project in China, ‘After Us’ in partnership with the New Museum, New York. Curated by Lauren Cornell, from the New Museum with support from Chinese curator Buoying Chen. After Us … More

Ian Cheng at Tate Modern

Ian Cheng participates in the first BMW Tate Live exhibition. The exhibition marks a new departure in the concept of the art exhibition; from a static presentation to an experience of art that unfolds through time. The Live exhibition will … More

Ian Cheng at Yuz Museum, Shanghai

Ian Cheng at Yuz Museum, Shanghai

Yuz Museum Shanghai is honored to announce its upcoming “OVERPOP”, an exhibition based on the Yuz Collection and a curatorial dialogue derived from it. As defined by Jeffrey Deitch, OVERPOP focuses on a group of artists who are defining new contemporary aesthetics. … More

Ian Cheng at Liverpool Biennial 2016

Ian Cheng at Liverpool Biennial 2016

The programme for Liverpool Biennial 2016, the largest contemporary art festival in the UK running from 9 July to 16 October 2016, was announced today by Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial. For the ninth edition of the Biennial, 44 … More

“Welt Am Draht” at Julia Stoschek Collection — Berlin

"Welt Am Draht" at Julia Stoschek Collection — Berlin

“WELT AM DRAHT” is the title of the first presentation in the new temporary JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION satellite at Leipziger Strasse 60 in Berlin’s Mitte district. In line with the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION’s insistence that it be contemporary, the exhibition … More

Ian Cheng “Forking At Perfection” at Migros Museum, Zurich

Ian Cheng "Forking At Perfection" at Migros Museum, Zurich

The work of the American artist Ian Cheng 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 … More

“Stranger” at MOCA, Cleveland

"Stranger" at MOCA, Cleveland

Huma Bhabha, Valérie Blass, Sascha Braunig, Antoine Catala, Ian Cheng, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Cécile B. Evans, Andro Wekua, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye The figure is a persistent and compelling subject for artists. Representations of the body channel our desires, vulnerabilities, and … More

Ian Cheng at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin

Ian Cheng at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin

Ian Cheng’s work explores the nature of mutation and the capacity of humans to relate to change. In his live simulations, familiar objects are programmed with basic properties, but are left to influence each other without authorial control or end. … More

Andrea K. Scott, Ian Cheng’s Alternate Realities at MOMA PS1, The New Yorker, May 2017 (Download PDF)

Andrea K. Scott, Watch the Absorbing and Tedious Simulations of Ian Cheng, The New Yorker, May 2017 (Download PDF)

Ed Halter, Welcome to the Sentient Atoll: the artist brings his cyber-biological worlds to MoMA PS1., 4Columns, April 2017 (Download PDF)

Jace Clayton, One Take: Ian Cheng’s Emissaries, Frieze, April 2017 (Download PDF)

How to Fix the Art World, Part 4, Artnews, November 2016 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng in conversation with Elvia Wilk, CURA., October 2016 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng in conversation with Haley Mellin, Creatures of Narrative, Garage, September 2016 (Download PDF)

Dylan Kerr, Artificial Ecology: Ian Cheng on the Strange Art of Simulating Life and the Conceptual Merits of Pokémon Go, ArtSpace, August 2016 (Download PDF)

Nora N. Khan, Trust Issues: Ian Cheng’s App Resists Digital Smoothnes, Rhizome, May 2o16 (Download PDF)

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Future Without Humans, Numéro, April 2016 (Download PDF)

Gianni Jetzer, Portrait Ian Cheng, Spike Art Quaterly, April 2016 (Download PDF)

Ben Vickers, Hermetic Engineering, Artforum, March 2016 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng, Interview Magazine, December 2015 (Download PDF)

Arielle Bier, Review: Ian Cheng at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Frieze Magazine, November/December 2015 (Download PDF)

Agnieszka Gratza, Critics’ Picks: Emissary on the Squats of Gods, artforum.com, November 2015 (Download PDF)

Matthew McLean, Review: Emissary Forks At Perfection, Art Agenda, November 2015 (Download PDF)

Stephanie Bailey, Ian Cheng: Entropy Wrangler, Leap Magazine, September/October 2015 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng, Forking at Perfection, Mousse Magazine, May 2015 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng, Infinite Game of Thrones, Mousse Magazine, November 2014 (Download PDF)

Laura McLean Ferris, Review: Taipei Biennial: The Great Acceleration, Art Agenda, September 2014 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng, Ian Cheng, Artforum, Summer 2014 (Download PDF)

Dylan Kerr, Ian Cheng, Bomb Magazine, October 2013 (Download PDF)

Ian Cheng, Future Fictions, Frieze Magazine, June/August 2013 (Download PDF)

Kari Rittenbach, Focus Interview: Ian Cheng, Frieze Magazine, May 2013 (Download PDF)

 

 

Ian Cheng: Emissary Forks At Perfection

Ian Cheng: Emissary Forks At Perfection

Pilar Corrias Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition in the UK by American artist Ian Cheng. The exhibition premieres the new live simulation Emissary Forks At Perfection, the second episode in a series of works dedicated to … More

Phantom Limbs

Phantom Limbs

Phantom Limbs: Alisa Baremboym, Antoine Catala, Ian Cheng, Cécile B. Evans, Ken Okiishi, Philippe Parreno, Charlotte Prodger, Rachel Rose Pilar Corrias presents Phantom Limbs, a group exhibition that traces how notions of consciousness are evolving as a result of our … More