Custom-made laser projectors
From 9 September to 6 November 2022, the art platform LAS https://www.las-art.foundation/de showed Ian Cheng – Life After BOB at the Halle am Berghain in Berlin.
The exhibition imagined a future in which humans and AI merge. At the centre was an animation co-commissioned by LAS, which Cheng translated into an installation format for the first time on this occasion. In doing so, he created a tangible environment in which visitors could experience the world and psychological themes of his latest work Life After BOB.
Life After Bob is an anime series set in a future world where AI beings co-inhabit the human mind. For the first time, Cheng developed an experiential environment that brings the different atmospheres of Life After BOB to life in the 1,435 square metre hall at Berghain.
“The fiction becomes a film, a video game, toys, spin-offs, an amusement park, a world that flourishes and perpetuates itself,” is how Ian Cheng describes it.
On the upper floor of the hall was a transformative space through which visitors passed on their way to the centrepiece of the exhibition, the 50-minute anime film “The Chalice Study”.
In one of the film’s key scenes, Chalice emerges through a shimmering turquoise water surface. Visitors were asked to move through a look-alike surface as an experiential way of getting in the mood. Cheng used the installation to illustrate the interweaving of art and life.
For the exhibition of Ian Cheng’s “Life After Bob”, LaserAnimation used custom-built laser devices to create a room-filling, largely uninterrupted laser layer (Concept: Henning Schletter) at chest height, which visitors could “play” with safely for their eyes: submerge, resurface … swim in the laser sea etc. The colour of the laser water surface was matched exactly to the colour of the water in the film.
3 laser devices were used, which were adjusted to each other so precisely that the layers of the lasers differed by a maximum of 3 mm in a room measuring 30m x 30m and thus formed a truly homogeneous layer.