The work establishes a relational configuration of human and machine, made up of electrical signals, bio-feedback and painterly gestures.
The process was developed using data recorded using an eeg headset, a computer vision system tracking the position of the body to feed into a custom robotic collaborator.
Collaborators: Sougwen Chung & D.O.U.G._4. (Drawing Operations Unit: Generation_4).
How can we build alternative configurations of technology towards the cognitive development of the human subject?
For the past few years, I’ve been developing a meditation practice. During lockdown especially, it provided a centering ritual amidst the isolation and uncertainty. I learned it was possible to record the electrical signals of my brainwaves during meditation using an EEG Headset. I was curious about what that would look like, and how it would feel to draw with it.
“We do not have at our disposal computers capable of following the flow of cultures, the poetic nodes, the dynamics of languages, the phases of cultures in confrontation. Should we hope that our imaginary construct of Relation might some day be "confirmed" in formulas we can read on the monitor screen? Can accident, which is the joy of poetics, be tamed through circuits?”
The artefacts engage with a practice of daily meditation, embodied through painterly gestures on the space of a canvas. The first performance took place during the covid-19 lockdown of 2020 in Basel, Switzerland.
Painting performances are 20-40 minutes in length. The collaboration is entirely improvised and showcases a process of human & robotic co-creation.
I recorded my brain waves during experiments in meditation techniques ranging from vipassana (mantra), aural (sound), qi gong and visualisation approaches. By measuring EEG fluctuations across the spectrum of alpha, beta, delta, gamma, theta, the extracted data is converted into kinematic positions resulting in a visual representation of the brain's electrical signals.
By recording my brainwaves daily, the fluctuations of my brain in different states were recorded as electrical signals, and could be observed. I discovered elevated states of alphawaves during meditation, particularly when I was able to achieve a state of flow.
In Mutations of Presence (Generation 4), I turned inward, looking for ways to think about my own biology, as electrical current and signal. It’s part of my interest in exploring the development of relational systems that surprise me, and challenge my own preconceptions of what technology is meant to do, and how.
By starting to integrate my biofeedback with the drawing system I'm hoping to create a record of this moment of time in isolation, suspension, looking out into the world at-a-distance. Centering rituals in catastrophe. Adaptation (beyond automation)
Glissant, Edouard. Poetics of Relation. The University of Michigan Press, 1997.
Creative and technical direction & execution
by Sougwen Chung
Mutations of Presence is a continuation of a long-term project exploring human & robotic collaboration.
works by sougwen
Assembly Lines (2022)a painting performance with a robotic swarm connected to the flow of a city
Mutations of Presence (2021)Exploring spectrality through sequencing bio-feedback to a machine
F.R.A.N. Flora Rearing Agricultural Network (2020)exploring machine and flora as part of a sympoietic, self-supporting networked system with human as gardener.
Ecologies Of Becoming WithProject type
Exquisite Corpus (2019)a performance installation exploring human, machine, and ecological bodies
Omnia per Omnia (2018)a painting performance with a robotic swarm connected to the flow of a city
Into The Light (2019)an audiovisual AR installation
Artefacts (2019)a human and machine collaborative drawing
Drawing Operations (2018)a human and machine collaborative duet
Drawing Operations (2018)soon...
Drawing Operations (2017)a human & machine drawing collaboration involving memory.
Drawing Operations (2015)a human & robot drawing collaboration involving mimicry
Chiaroscuro (2013)a spatial interplay of light and shadow as an immersive installation
Preparatory Gestures (2017)a series of sculpture studies in VR
Mycelia (2018)a series of sculptures inspired by bio-inspired cognition
Ecdysis (2013)a study in performative architecture
High Tide (Étude Op. 2, No. 4)a painting exploring the dynamics of change
The Limitless, The Absolute (2017)a painting inspired by the 八卦 Trigrams of the IChing
Cardia (2012)a short film depicting a transgression from interior to exterior
Apolysis (2014)a short film in collaboration with Clint Mansell
Untitled (Étude Op. 1, No. 1-4)a series of drawings exploring synesthesia
Chiaro Oscuro Prototypesa series of form studies with paper
Topographies (2015)a series of paintings inspired by nature and flow states
Dénouement (Recurrent fevers of unknown origin)
Sougwen 愫君 Chung is a Chinese - Canadian artist & (re)searcher based in London / New York / Hong Kong.
Copyright Sougwen Chung