Sougwen Chung refuses to be defined by binaries. The artist is a child of two cultures, two languages, and—in human terms—one musician and one computer programmer.

“My work, at its simplest level, is about exploring the contradictions that stem from not fitting neatly into one category,” Chung, who identifies as nonbinary, said on Sunday in Dubai, where they accepted a TIME100 Impact Award for their influence on the field of artificial intelligence. “I like to think of [it] as a new hybridity.”

Among other binaries, Chung’s work explores the distinction between human and machine. The artist, who splits their time between London and New York, creates mesmeric works that combine painting and performance art. They have trained a neural network on 20 years worth of their own work, teaching it to identify and mimic their style. Chung then enlists that neural network as a collaborator, by equipping robotic arms with paint brushes, and paints alongside it. The process is a creative act heavy with symbolism for today’s age of anxiety over artificial intelligence.

Read More: Artist Sougwen Chung On Finding Inspiration In AI

In an era where AI companies are justifiably criticized by artists for “stealing” their work to train AI systems that produce derivative copies of their art without remuneration, Chung’s work explores not only the creative augmentations that AI can give to the artist, but also – paradoxically—the fundamental humanity of art as a discipline. “Traditional forms of creativity must shape, but not be replaced by, technological development,” Chung said in their acceptance speech. “We’ve observed the damage to our planet done by unchecked technological growth—the damage to our creative industries, too. We need now, more than ever, approaches that foreground hybrid creative innovation that help shape the development of the technology that shapes us, while stewarding what came before.”

Chung’s TIME100 Impact award was bestowed by Esai Morales, the star of film and TV with credits including Ozark and Mission Impossible, Dead Reckoning. “In Mission Impossible, my character … wants to use AI to rule the world, so it’s a relief to be part of an evening celebrating people who are actually devoted to enriching and enhancing humanity,” Morales told the assembled crowd at Dubai’s Museum of the Future.

“Sougwen pushes the boundaries of what it means to make art, and what it means to work with non-human collaborators,” Morales said. “Sougwen explores what this interaction feels like, and is curious about the space where mankind and machine reflect each other. Sougwen believes that no matter how powerful and advanced AI has gotten, it always should retain an element of the human hand.”

Before leaving the stage, Chung made it clear that they believe art isn’t going away in the age of AI. “This award is not just about me,” they said. “It’s a spotlight on the meaning made by the artists of today, the artists that came before, and the ones to come.”

TIME100 Impact Awards / AI is sponsored by World Government Summit, Museum of the Future, Northern Data Group, and AI71.

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