Emissary’s Guide to Worlding
Ian Cheng’s ebook Emissary’s Guide to Worlding aims at anyone interested in bridging the complexity of worlding with the finitude of human psychology. Reflecting on his experience making Emissaries (2015-2017)—a trilogy of simulations about cognitive evolution and the ecological conditions shaping it—Cheng derives practical methods for making worlds as a whole-brain activity. Through exercises designed to summon the artistic masks of the Director, the Cartoonist, the Hacker, and the Emissary, Cheng pleads for worlding as a vital practice to help us navigate darkness, maintain agency and appreciate the multitude of worlds we can choose to live in.
Ian Cheng makes simulations that explore the nature of mutation and our capacity to embrace change. Drawing on principles of video game design and cognitive science, Cheng’s virtual ecosystems are populated with characters governed by competing AI models. Each of the models attempts to perpetuate its approach amidst otherworldly environmental conditions. What emerges is an endless, unpredictable stream of artificial life.
b. 1984, Los Angeles, US
Lives/works in New York, US
Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, 4th floor
Bibliothèque Municipale de la Cité, Espace Le 4e
Ebook available to download for free during the BIM18