Life After BOB: The Chalice Study is a 50-minute narrative animation, that presents an imagined future of AI-human interaction. For this major exhibition, Cheng will bring his animation into the physical plane for the first time, creating a mesmerising new environment that will allow visitors to materially inhabit the psychological thematics, lore and world of Life After BOB.
Set in “a great anomic era” Life After BOB is an episodic anime series that imagines a future world in which AI entities co-inhabit human minds. In the first episode, The Chalice Study, neural engineer Dr. Wong has installed an experimental AI named BOB (“Bag of Beliefs”) into the nervous system of his 10-year-old daughter Chalice. Designed to guide Chalice through the challenges of growing up in a chaotic world, BOB negotiates more and more of life’s conflicts on Chalice’s behalf, while Chalice atrophies in her own fantasies. As Dr. Wong begins to favour the BOB side of his daughter, and as BOB threatens to do the job of living Chalice’s life better than her, Chalice jealously wonders what is left for her classic human self to do?