Ian Cheng

Emissaries. Live @ MoMA

MoMA PS1 presents Ian Cheng’s (b. 1984) 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,” the works are comprised of computer-generated simulations like those used in predictive technologies for complex scenarios such as climate change or elections. Populated by a cast of characters and wildlife that interact, intervene, and recombine in open-ended narratives, Cheng’s simulations evolve endlessly as self-contained ecosystems. The exhibition Emissaries marks the completion of this series of works, which contemplate timeless questions about evolution, the origins of human consciousness, and ways of relating to a chaotic existence. The trilogy was recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art and is on display for the first time at MoMA PS1.

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