IAN CHENG: ENTROPY WRANGLER

On 08/08/2013 by Site Default

The projection in “Entropy Wrangler,” Ian Cheng’s solo exhibition at Matt Moravec’s new space Off Vendome, is not a video work. It is a program where elements exist in a space defined by forces of causation individual to each figure. Projected in the basement of the Off Vendome space, Moravec describes it as a video game playing itself, a digital world where digitally constructed figures are visibly caught in a sea of coded configurations and glitches: a globe, a tree, a hammer, a basketball player, and other random elements all co-existing and reacting to one another. Tossed around the digital frame, their forms mutate, stretch and jerk about as they get stuck in different combinations. At one moment, a rabbit-headed child gets its head stuck in a cloud, its body jerking as if suffering from convulsions.

The work is programmed to exist in a state of chaos and lull. The objects float like astronauts in zero gravity, in conditions that are at once predetermined but unpredictable given the sheer number of possible interactions, encounters, and reactions produced. Things appear and disappear; they enter into new configurations and jams; get caught in violent pile-ups. It is a clusterfuck of chain reactions contained by a consistent, random order. There is a sense of the automatic—underscored by metallic sounds, such as a metalworker’s hammer rhythmically punctuating the object’s movement in what seems to be a pinball machine with no visible obstacles but loads of pinballs. This is a universe of reactive symbols existing in an image plane that seems at once infinite and void-like…

http://leapleapleap.com/2013/07/ian-cheng-entropy-wrangler/

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