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The Julia Stoschek Collection presents the complete trilogy of Ian Cheng's Emissaries
Emissary Sunsets the Self. Installation view. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2018 © Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Photo: Bryan Conley.

BERLIN.- The Julia Stoschek Collection is presenting the complete trilogy of the Emissaries (2015 – 2017) by artist Ian Cheng for the first time in Germany.

Ian Cheng creates live simulations that explore the nature of mutation and our capacity to relate to change. Drawing on principles of video game design and cognitive science, the simulations are populated with characters programmed with behavioral drives, but left to self-evolve amidst otherworldly environmental conditions.

Emissaries is a trilogy of live simulations about cognitive evolution, past and future, and the ecological conditions that shape it. It is composed of three interconnected episodes, each centered on the life of a narrative agent – the Emissary – who attempts to achieve a series of narrative goals, only to be disrupted by the underlying simulation and deviate into new directions. In this way, EMISSARIES imagines stories that can break their classical determinism, and simulations that acknowledge the influence of inner fictions on how we act upon the external world: Stories shape an agent, an agent shapes the world, the worls shapes back.

The presenation includes the computer-generated simulations EMISSARY FORKS AT PERFECTION (2015), EMISSARY IN THE SQUAT OF GODS (2015) and EMISSARY SUNSETS THE SELF (2017) as well as 64 drawings from the making of EMISSARIES. On display for the first time, the drawings offer a unique insight into how Cheng´s complex simulations arise.

Ian Cheng was born 1984 in Los Angeles. In 2006, he graduated in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley, before studying Visual Art at Columbia University in New York until 2009. He lives and works in New York.

Cheng has had solo exhibitions including in MoMA PS1, New York (2017), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2017), Migros Museum, Zürich (2016), Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (2015) and at the Triennale di Milano (2014). In addition, his works were showcased in group exhibitions in Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen (2017), at Yokohama Triennale (2017), in Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2016), in Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016), at Taipei Biennale (2014) and the 112th Biennale de Lyon (2013) and in the Sculpture Centre (2012).

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