previews

  • Ian Cheng, Emissary Forks at Perfection (detail), 2015, ongoing live digital simulation, dimensions variable.

    Ian Cheng

    Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
    Limmatstrasse 270
    February 20 - May 16

    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.