Emissary Forks At Perfection

Ian Cheng
Emissary Forks At Perfection 2015-16
Live simulation and story (colour, sound). Infinite duration

”A video game that plays itself,” as Cheng describes it, this digital simulation is generated in real time with no fixed beginning or end. Created using the Unity engine, a popular software tool for developing 3-D video games and AI models, the animation takes place far in the future. It tells the story of Talus Twenty Nine, an artificial intelligence that oversees a lush terrain in which new plants and animals constantly evolve in a Darwinian setting. The AI resurrects an ancient cadaver from the twenty-first century, and summons a pet dog to guide the undead through his posthuman world. Every time the program is run, a new scenario unfolds. The result is an endlessly changing, fantastical model of biological evolution and machine learning in the absence of human life. [source: MoMA]

Emissaries is a trilogy of 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 an emissary who is caught between unraveling old realities and emerging weird ones. [source: Ian Cheng]

Emissary in the Squat of Gods
Emissary Forks At Perfection
Emissary Sunsets The Self


April 4th, 2019

Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974–1995

”Before Projection” shines a spotlight on a body of work in the history of video art that has been largely overlooked since its inception while simultaneously placing it within the history of sculpture. Exploring the connections between our current moment and the point at which video art was transformed dramatically with the entry of large-scale, cinematic installation into the gallery space, Before Projection presents a tightly focused survey of monitor-based sculpture made between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s. [source: Sculpture Center]

Maria Vedder’s ”PAL oder Never The Same Color”, a video installation with twenty-five monitors, was first presented in 1988. PAL (Phase Alternating Line) is the system used to standardize color broadcasting in Europe, developed for analog television. NTSC (National Television System Committee), mockingly dubbed “Never The Same Color,” is the competing standard in North America.

Ernst Caramelle’s ”Video-Ping-Pong” (1974) examines the relationship between the human body and video through a recording of a Ping-Pong match, which plays on two monitors mounted on AV carts at approximately eye level and positioned in front of a “real” Ping-Pong table. Sounds of the bouncing Ping-Pong ball are audible, although no ball is visible between the two monitors. The result is a disarming sense of the players’ presence in the space of the sculpture.

Nam June Paik, ”Charlotte Moorman II”, 1995. Nine antique TV cabinets, two cellos, one 13-inch color TV, two 5-inch color TVs, eight 9-inch color TVs, and two- channel video.

Friederike Pezold, ”Die neue leibhaftige Zeichensprache (The New Embodied Sign Language)”, 1973–76. Four digitized videos.

”The New Embodied Sign Language” comprises four monitors displaying close-up videos of the artist’s body altered by theatrical makeup. The videos (subtitled Augenwerk [Eye Work], Mundwerk [Mouth Work], Bruststück [Breast Piece], and Schamwerk [Pubic Work]) are shown on monitors stacked on top of each other to reach roughly the height of a human body.

In Takahiko Iimura’s ”TV for TV” (1983), two monitors are positioned face-to-face, each tuned to a different broadcast station or to static. Their respective streams are only directed toward the other television set, rendering their images nearly invisible to the viewer.

Shigeko Kubota’s ”River” (1979–81) is composed of three monitors hung at eye-level above a curved, stainless steel trough equipped with a wave motor. The monitors alternate footage of Kubota swimming with brightly colored graphic shapes, which were created with state-of-the- art postproduction equipment of the time. Reflected on the surface of the water, the images’ legibility is periodically disrupted by the wave motor. The work typifies Kubota’s recurring interest in water and video as apt mediums to represent cyclicality, as well as her idea of video as “liquid reality.”


Before Projection ran between September & December 2018.

Sculpture Center, Long Island City

December 14th, 2018

Chicago || At the end of the day [three]

Nothing like a Chicagoan [almost] smiling face looking down from their 50 feet twin LED towers and Louis Comfort Tiffany’s 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass exquisite mosaic on Macy’s vaulted ceiling, to cool you down and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

Crown Fountain is a black granite reflecting pool between two glass brick towers projecting images of Chicago citizens. It was designed by Jaume Plensa and is part of the Millennium Park’s public artworks since 2004.

The sparkling Tiffany Dome was installed on the vaulted ceiling of Marshall Field’s – now Macy’s on State Street, in 1907. It is the largest Tiffany mosaic in existence and contains more than 1.6 million pieces of favrile iridescent glass, patented in 1894 by Louis Comfort Tiffany. [source]

November 4th, 2017

ah ah

|1|-|6| Nothing is Enough, single-channel digital video projection, 2012 – by Frances Stark

Nothing is Enough consists of documented text fragments from Frances Stark’s online chat with a young Italian man, ranging from contemplative, self-reflective discussions to cybersex.

|7|- Fuck You: From the Liz Taylor Series (after Bert Stern), 1984, acrylic and composition leaf on canvas – by Kathe Burkhart

Kathe Burkhart is an artist and writer who uses images and text to, in her words, ”articulate a radical female subject.” She considers this confrontational, sensual work to be the first fully realized canvas in her Liz Taylor Series, ongoing since 1982.

|8|-|9| Pat Hearn, 1985, acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen – by Andy Warhol

The Art Institute of Chicago

November 4th, 2017

passing || by || passing

For a minute there, the museum’s windows became a work of art.

The blue screens on the external walls seen from a distance, are Clifford Ross’, Digital Wave, 2017, video on 2 LED walls. Another version, from 2105, was installed in the interior lobby:

September 3rd, 2017

Parrish Art Museum
Water Mill, Long Island

Window shop art

In the glorious Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo House, a French Renaissance revival mansion located at 867 Madison Avenue.

It is home to the Ralph Lauren Men’s Flagship store and had me wondering whether it looks as glorious on the inside. Could I just step in to have a look? Although, who am I kidding, I’d probably spend hours browsing through the apparel; I usually find their Men’s collections much more interesting than the Women’s, anyway.

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September 17th, 2016


I went in expecting to see an interesting video art installation. I came out a better person, conscious that I have witnessed a brilliant work of art. Julian Rosenfeldt’s Manifesto bridges admirably the boundaries between filmmaking, theatrical artistic expression and technical dexterity. Mounted on 13 screens, positioned all over the monumental Wade Thompson Drill Hall in deceptive randomness, Manifesto brings to life excerpts of over 50 manifestos and statements by artists, filmmakers, choreographers and architects, going back as early as 1913 (Appolinaire’s The Futurist Antitradition) and as recently as 2002 (Jim Jarmusch’s Golden Rules of Filmmaking).

And then, there is Cate Blanchett. In case you still had a doubt about Ms. Blanchett’s brilliance as a performer this is your moment of truth. Passing effortlessly from the role of a homeless man, to a diva choreographer, a TV anchorwoman, a factory worker, a school teacher, a scientist, or my two favourites – a puppeteer and a conservative mother, Ms Blanchett interprets, dramatizes and recites excerpts, merging different manifestos and statements in every story seamlessly, skillfully proving yet again what a powerful performer she really is.

Manifesto is on at the Park Avenue Armory until January 8th, 2017. An unmissable treat, if your way brings you to New York City until then.

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Photography is not permitted inside the hall, and rightfully so for once, as camera and cell phone lights would have been all but rude intruders destroying the immersive, audio-visual experience.

As a compensation, cameras are welcome in all the beautifully restored reception rooms on the first floor.

December 10th, 2016