Drawing Operations is an ongoing collaboration between an artist and a robotic arm.

Collaborators: Sougwen Chung & D.O.U.G._1 (Drawing Operations Unit: Generation_1).

The robot mimics the artist's drawing gesture and vice 
versa in real time, resulting in a synchronous, 
interpretive performance.

This is the first stage of an 
ongoing study examining 
human and robotic 
interaction as an artistic 


 Collaboration is an exercise in behavioral empathy

Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 1 is the 1st stage of an ongoing study of human and robotic interaction as an artistic collaboration.


Generation 1:



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In Generation_1, the robotic arm mimics the artist’s gesture by seeing through an overhead camera, and analyzing the movement through computer vision software. The result is a synchronicity of movement between artist and machine, captured as a drawing artifact.

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The following mimicry studies were drawn and performed at The National Art Center in Tokyo, Rebull Studios and the artists studio in New York in 2015 - 2016.



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Exhbition & Performance

Drawing performances are 10 minutes in length. The collaboration is entirely improvised and showcases a process of human & robotic co-creation.



Future Generations



Exploration of creativity as a combination of learned / remembered gestures from drawing collaboratively and style analysis of artists of the past.
Continuing attemps to evolve D.O.U.G._1's drawing sensibility.


Gestures fromprevious drawings will becollected and saved, existing as a memory bank for D.O.U.G._1. Analysis of visual style of historic artists to translate into gesture, as well as colour palette as a collective memory bank from which robotic arm will be able to select.

"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 performance is a 
process of slowing down, 
paying attention, and 
communicating entirely 
through gesture.


The robot mimics the artist like a partner in 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.



Sougwen Chung, Artist

In collaboration with 
Yotam Mann

Commissioned by 
New Inc / New Museum
Redbull Studios New York
New Hive

Slanted Studios, Square Fabrication,
Mr. doob, Phil Sierzega, TVRT



Nusselder André. Interface Fantasy: a Lacanian Cyborg Ontology. MIT Press, 2010.

Rich,Adrienne. Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations. W.W. Norton & Co., 2002 



Brockman, John. What to Think about Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence. Print.


Varela, Francisco, and Humberto Maturana. Autopoiesis and Cognition The 
Realization of the Living. 1st ed. D. Reidel, 1980. Print.

Kurzweil, Ray. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed. 
New York: Viking, 2012. Print.


Interview with Maddy Varner- New Hive  
NEW INC Showcase: Sougwen Chung for Redbull Studios New York 

works by sougwen

Omnia per Omnia (2018)A painting performance with a robotic swarm connected to the flow of a city

Drawing Operations (2017)A human & machine drawing collaboration involving memory.

Drawing Operations (2015)A human & robot drawing collaboration involving mimicry

Chiaroscuro (2013)spatial interplay of light and shadow as an immersive installation

Preparatory Gestures (2017)What are the sensory mixes of the future?

Ecdysis (2013)a study in performative architecture

Cardia (2012)Project type

Apolysis (2014)A collaboration with Clint Mansell

Topographies (2015)Project type

Dénouement (Recurrent fevers of unknown origin)


— Sougwen 愫君 Chung is a

Chinese-born, Canadian-raised 

artist & (re)searcher 

based in New York.


Copyright Sougwen Chung