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State of the Art

Artist Sougwen Chung draws with the help of a robot. COURTESY SOUGWEN CHUNG

Artists use tools. A painter might use a brush. A sculptor might use a chisel or saw. Lately, some artists have been using computers. These machines help them create surprising new works. Here are three of those artists.

Creative Robots


Sougwen Chung has painting partners. They are robots. Chung programmed them to paint the way she paints. In the picture, she is painting with the help of several robots. She does not always know what to expect. “I just go with what I’m feeling right now,” she says.

Strange Forms


“We are drawn to things that make us curious,” says architect Michael Hansmeyer. There are countless tiny details in his sculptures. Only a computer could make them. First, Hansmeyer creates the designs on a computer screen. Then he uses lasers or 3D printers to make the artwork.

Color By Numbers


What does data about air pollution look like? For Ben Shneiderman, it looks like colorful rectangles. He turns data into art. Here, we see a map of the amount of a greenhouse gas that different countries produced in 2010. “There is a lot of unity between science and art,” Shneiderman says.