©Created on the occasion of the exhibition: NEW INC Showcase at Red Bull Studios New York July 2015.
Photo: courtesy of Drew Gurian / Red Bull Content Pool

19th Entertainment Division Excellence Award

Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 1

Interactive installation

Sougwen CHUNG [Canada]


This work is an ongoing collaboration between the artist and a robotic arm. The behavior of the robotic arm was designed to mimic the drawn gesture in real time through the use of a ceiling-mounted camera and computer vision, resulting in a synchronous, interpretive performance. Through this project, the artist investigates the ideas of automation, autonomy, and collaboration as an exercise in behavioral empathy. Sougwen CHUNG and her Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 1 explores mimicry and procedural mark-making as a simple drawing performance between a human and mechanical agent.

Reason for Award

This work is performed as a collaboration between the artist and a robotic arm. The robotic arm is programmed to mimic the artist’s gestures through the use of a ceiling-mounted camera, learning its own autonomous style as well as adopting human behavior. Perhaps it belongs with the avant-garde abstract expressionist movement, under the context of Clement GREENBERG’s theory on medium specificity in which contingency is accepted as aesthetic sensibility? Rather, this collaborative performance between the body and a robot arm is musical. The robot mimics the artist like a partner in an improvisational round singing performance. It is an AI that embraces every glitch, bug, and error. The drawing session, without pre-established harmony, frees itself from aesthetic constraints, while also examining the essence and phenomenon of beauty at the same time. (UKAWA Naohiro)