Seung Jung: Prometheus String

  • ©,

  • ©,

  • ©,

Artist Statement:


    Prometheus String series attempt various artistic experiments applied to ‘data refraction’, a concept that breaks frame of data with modern concept of accurate delivery of information and induces more creative results. The extracted data from living creature are converted into 3D shape generation, also robotic sculpture and data-visual performance.


    Prometheus’ string series attempt various artistic experiments applied to ‘data refraction’, a concept that breaks frame of data with modern concept of accurate delivery of information and induces more creative results. The resulting installation work includes various processes such as data extraction from living creature into 3D shape generation and printing, as well as robotic sculpture and data visual performance.

    Prometheus string series began by recognizing the material essence of life as a stream of non-material data. For example, if you look at the human body, dead cells on one side are falling apart, and on the other, new cell division is constantly occurring. The living things that we can see and touch are just a piece of the continual line of life and death of the many invisible substances that make up our body.

    The information of living things that have been digitalized becomes a model for realizing unexpected results through a process of ‘refraction of data’ that is transferred or transformed in a way suitable for various systems. Of course, using information about life can’t be said that the information can replace life, but it can be a significant attempt to approach the essence of life with a new perspective on the digital system, which is gradually expanding its scope.

    Prometheus’ string series also intends to continue various artistic experiments applied to the ‘refraction of data’, a concept that breaks the frame of data with a modern concept of accurate delivery of information and induces more creative results. The experiment to convert from material life to non-material information and from information to artificial life will continue. Also experiments of connecting artificial intelligence patterns for robot movement with social discourse as well.

Technical Information:

    1. composition of work: The installation will be completed with a combination of Prometheus String I and real time data visual equipment. – Prometheus String: The first version with robotic movement which will be interacting with real time data(See the image 2). – Real time audio, data visual : A plant will be growing and a RGB sensor will detect the green value of pixel on video image. The real time data of green value will interact with the audio and data visual equipments such as cylinder, plant, monitor, computer , speaker, etc.(See the image 3).
    2. installation: Hanging on ceiling by wire. 3. electricity: Yes 4. weight: maximum 80kg

Process Information:

    The conception of the work started from a moment that artist had encountered an idea that the space might be filled with numerous information. As it is known that the information of former generation get transferred to later ones through genes, the artist reasoned that material essence of life in cosmic space refers to the continuity of delivering information. This project started from this thought and has been realizes as a generative art project in collaboration between art, science, and technology. It contemplates on the substance of life with a new perspective.

    Living creature -> sensor -> Database -> converting data -> generating 3D shape -> 3Dprinting -> robotic sculpture/data- visual performance

    As the first version of ‘Prometheus String’ series, the artist performed sensing six hours a day for a generation of kidney beans (a species with a short growth period), collecting data(such as temperature, humidity, size of plant, UV, etc.) that were then fed into a specially produced 3D shape-generating program that translated them into three-dimensional shapes of differing forms from day to day. Pieced together in sequence, the resulting figures became a sculpture in string form, showing the metabolic progress over the passage of time of a plant. The project’s title, Prometheus String, draws both from the Greek myth of Prometheus who provided humankind with its first technological innovation by imparting the means of controlling fire, and from String theory which attempts to uncover the origin of the creation of the universe by explaining that all of the particles and fundamental forces of nature might be in one model as vibrations of tiny supersymmetric strings.

    Since April 2016, the research has been on going with regular advises by KNA(Korea National Arboretum). Basic technique like automation of sensing- physical computing-3Dprinting has been accomplished with a researcher from KIST.

    Concentrating on shape generation using real-time data collected from living things, Prometheus String series, which is a sculpture based project, involves various technologies and research used in the work itself, such as robot movement and interaction. In addition to this, the connection with “Scattered Scream,” a performance series that is conducted with audiovisual and interactive sound, is also noteworthy. The Prometheus String series creates a field in which experiments using various art media and techniques are constantly conducted.

    After graduating from art school and working in the field of fine art, I started Prometheus’ string project since 2016, and had to dig into technology from the basics. It took a long time to adapt to a completely different way of working with art works which I used to. The first version of the series took me almost six months to conceive of the algorithm for. Even in collaboration with engineers, in order to obtain the desired result, I had to study basic knowledge about the technology and complete the algorithm by myself, so the work proceeded smoothly. In the following works, the study continues along with related research because of the necessity of applying new technologies.

Other Information:

    Inspiration Behind the Project

    I am interested in science and engineering. Theories that revolve around dark matter or energies that constitute cosmic space have always interested me. Recently, I have found an impressive theory of which argument goes, “space might be filled with numerous information.” Soon, this led me to a new idea. As we can see that information of each species get transferred from the former generations to the later ones through genes, my thoughts have reached to the following question; “doesn’t the material essence of life in cosmic space refer to the continuity of delivering information?” And from here, I started to frame a sculptural project series called Prometheus String.

    Key Takeaways for the Audience

    Prometheus’ string series is constantly evolving. The first version of the 3D printed sculptural work has now become a robot in the latest version VII and its movement patterns are controlled by data obtained through real-time image analysis of the growing process of a plant. Furthermore, artistic experiments through various technologies are being upgraded such as color change and interactive sound using real-time data according to the daily rate of corona19 confirmed.