Ian Cheng. Live Simulation

"What is a simulation? It is a private game we devise when the aliveness of a situation is too complex to really know. It is drafting reality through an ocean of forking behaviors for finding an optimal end. What is a live simulation? It is playing this game in public and not letting it end when the game gets good. Darwin said the greatest live simulation is nature herself, who incessantly tries and fails aloud, never stopping at perfection. But nature is often too fast, too slow, too big, too small, for us. We need live simulation at scale with human spacetime, but unending in its variety and blind to our barometers of quality. A live simulation that we can feel, but does not give a fig for us." – Ian Cheng

Live Simulation is the first monograph of New York based artist Ian Cheng (*1984). It not only ventures to visualize Cheng’s artistic practice but also to make its principles tangible in book form. The distorted views, mutated images, and varied texts are exemplary of the artist’s interest in behavioral change and the potential of working with live simulations.

This publication is published on the occasion of the exhibition Real Humans. Ian Cheng, Wu Tsang, Jordan Wolfson curated by Elodie Evers and Irina Raskin (February 7 – April 19, 2015, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf).