PRINT January 2016

Ian Cheng

Curated by Raphael Gygax

In the bleak ahistorical dreamscapes of Ian Cheng’s “live simulations”—indeterminate virtual ecosystems governed by a basic set of programmed evolutionary laws—vaguely avian clots writhe over barren tundra, Shiba Inus collude in a thicket, children become puppets become zombies, and geologic formations amass and crumble. Each simulation looks like a digital Darwinian snow globe filled with discrete elements that collide and mutate; it’s a world continually shaken to thwart gravity and narrative alike. For his first solo exhibition at a museum in Europe, Cheng, who studied cognitive science and worked at George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic before staking out an art practice, will present a new, gallery-spanning commission that builds on his epic Emissary Forks at Perfection, 2015. The accompanying monograph from JRP|Ringier will include essays by Gygax, Cheng, and the late psychologist Julian Jaynes.