“That’s old-world thinking”, dismisses one of the characters in the latest LAS (Light Art Space) commissioned work at Berghain, an appropriate phrase for the dizzying level of mental adjustment needed to navigate the complexity of US artist Ian Cheng’s ‘Life After BOB’, an unnerving and frequently merciless film.
The film’s power lies in its ability to fully immerse you into this brave new world.
At its core lies the impact AI will have on our future lives when identities and destinies can be simulated and implanted. If it sounds far-fetched, it doesn’t feel it. The film’s power lies in its ability to fully immerse you into this brave new world. And like all visions of advanced technology, it’s terrifying – especially when played out in Cheng’s detached Manga animation.
Cheng’s focus on psychological implications involves stories of familial exploitation, as it follows the insertion of an experimental AI named BOB in the nervous system of the 10-year old Chalice. Not just the unique film but also the exhibition itself is an impressive achievement, including a small cosmos of interactive installations with the main hall dissected by powerful horizontal lasers. With only your head appearing above the watery light, that severance of mind and body is a theme that recurs repeatedly and adds another element to this standout exhibition.
- Halle am Berghain, Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Friedrichshain, details, 27.10 – 06.11.2022