Omnia per Omnia  reimagines the tradition of landscape painting as a collaboration between an artist, a robotic swarm, and the dynamic flow of a city.

The work explores the poetics of various modes of sensing: human and machine, organic and synthetic, and improvisational and computational.

Through a collaborative drawing performance between Sougwen and a swarm of custom-designed drawing robots, the project explores the composite agency of an human and machine as a speculation on new pluralities.


Sougwen Chung & D.O.U.G._L.A.S. (Drawing Operations Unit:  Generation_3 Live Autonomous System).

Are we at the onset of a new, collaborative imagination — of radical new intersubjectivities? 

What does it mean to collaborate with the spaces we inhabit, the tools we build? Where does “I” end and “we” begin?

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Omnia Paintings


Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


density study
(40.761124, -73.999089)
Mixed Media
48in x 48in 

In Omnia per Omnia, I collaborate through a drawing duet with machines to understand my own engagement to technological complexity, as articulated by a multi-agent body, and represent how these technological systems see in contrast to humans.

We are living in a time of unprecedented complexity, our senses are currently whip-driven by a feverish new pace of technological change.

The activities that mark us as human, though, don’t begin, exist in, or end by such a calculus.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


dwell study
(40.695045, -73.972466)
Mixed Media
48in x 48in

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


direction study
(40.712848, -73.989411)
Mixed Media
48in x 48in

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


velocity study
(40.722215, -73.992944)
Mixed Media
48in x 48in

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


Exhbition & Performance

Painting performances are 9 minutes in length. The collaboration is entirely improvised and showcases a process of human & robotic co-creation.




Sougwen Chung,
Omnia per Omnia (Performance) 2018

Akira Kanayama,
Remote Controlled painting, 1958

In Gutai Art, the human spirit and matter shake hands with each other while keeping their distance. Matter never compromises itself with the spirit; the spirit never dominates matter. When matter remains intact and exposes its characteristics, it starts telling a story and even cries out. To make the fullest use of matter is to make use of the spirit. By enhancing the spirit, matter is brought to the height of the spirit.




If we want our machines
to think, we need to
teach them to see.

(Professor of Computer Studies and AI Research at Stanford)





The city of New York will become a conductor for multi-agent robotic agency. Motion vectors linked to DOUG_LAS robot system’s behaviour in the painting duet. Artist and this system of machines participate in the creation of an ephemeral portrait of a city in perpetual transition, the birthplace of E.A.T.

The first in a series of portraits of cities.


What do public cameras see?How do they see us? Recordings of the different states of the city via publically available surveillance feeds. Collecting states through the algorithm’s perspective: information about density, dwell, direction and velocity. 





The philosophical underpinnings of the Bell Labs Motion Engine captures the optical flow of a scene as opposed to the single object; it privileges the action of the collective (the behaviour of the crowd) over individual surveillance (face tracking and recognition). The latter way of seeing as fragmented and discrete. Do CV systems that view a scene as a composition of discrete objects shape a sense of modern isolation?

How can computational ways of seeing reframe a collective imagination?




Omnia per Omnia is a continuation of a long-term project exploring human & robotic collaboration. This generation saw an evolution of the robotic form from singular to collective, as 20 custom designed units.



The paintings are a continuation of 5 years of blue studies on paper. Hex values to signify the hue of a generational time frame.



Bratton, Benjamin H. The Stack - On Software and Sovereignty. MIT Press, 2016.

BERGER, JOHN. LANDSCAPES: John Berger on Art. VERSO, 2018.


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 



Tiampo, Ming, and Alexandra Munroe. Gutai: Splendid Playground. Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2013.

Shaviro, Steven. Connected, or, What It Means to Live in the Network Society. University of Minnesota Press, 2003.


Bacon,Francis.  Advancement of Learning ; and, Novum Organum ; and, New Atlantis. EncyclopæDia Britannica, 1955.

Čapek, Karel. R. U. R. Vjesnik, 1986.



Stinson, Elizabeth. “What Artists Can Teach Us About Making Technology More Human.”Wired, Conde Nast, 15 May 2018,

Abraham, Irina. “What Happens When Tech Engineers and Artists Collaborate? .” White Hot Magazine, 30 May 2018,


Concept by Sougwen Chung

Director: Cutter Hodierne

Producer: Taylor Shung


Director of Photography: Matthew Clegg

Production Design: Arriane Alizio

Original Score by Chris Leung & Mickey Partlow


Prototype: Sougwen Chung

Motion Engine: Larry O’Gorman, Nokia Bell Labs

Technical Direction: Andy Cavatorta  

Fabrication & Design: Young Buk

Camera Systems Design: Scott Peterman



Charlie Whitney, Domnhaill

Hernon, Aki Akiwumi,

Leif Percield, Ray Golden, Josh

Holtsford, Julia Kaganskiy,

Vida Chang, Neil Mendoza, Paolo

Salvagione, Sherry Wong

Commissioned by Nokia Bell Labs as part of

Experiments in Art and Technology artist

residency program, organized by New

Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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