Entertainment Division
Excellence Award

Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 1

Interactive installation
Sougwen CHUNG
Drawing  Operations Unit: Generation 1
Photo: Courtesy of Drew Gurian / Red Bull Content Pool ©Created on the occasion of the exhibition: NEW INC Showcase at Red Bull Studios New York July 2015.
This work is an ongoing collaboration between an 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 ceil- ing-mounted camera and computer vision, resulting in a synchronous, in- terpretive performance. Through this project, the artist investigates the ideas of automation, autonomy, and collaboration as an exercise in be- havioral empathy.
Sougwen CHUNG and her Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 1 ex- plores 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 collab- oration between the artist and a robotic arm. The robotic arm is pro- grammed to mimic the artist’s gestures through the use of a ceil- ing-mounted camera, learning its own autonomous style as well as adopting human behavior. Perhaps it belongs with the avant-garde ab- stract expressionist movement, under the context of Clement GREENBERG’s theory on medium specificity in which contingency is accepted as aesthetic sensibility? Rather, this collaborative perfor- mance between the body and a robot arm is musical. The robot mimics the artist like a partner in an improvisational round singing per- formance. It is an AI that embraces every glitch, bug, and error. The drawing session, without pre-estab- lished harmony, frees itself from aesthetic constraints, while also examining the essence and phe- nomenon of beauty at the same time. (UKAWA Naohiro)