Two Heads Are Better Than One

May 6th, 2005 · 2 Comments · Artists

Photo: Tamara Dean [source]

Australian performance installation artist Stellarc, famed for all manner of bodily manipulation via technology, has a new head.

“The two-metre high, three-dimensional head went on show for the first time in Sydney last night at the Sherman Galleries in Paddington.

It can hold an intelligent discourse on an infinite number of subjects, speaking in perfect sync with appropriate facial expressions.

It can also discuss philosophy, religion, tell (bad) jokes, make up poetry and rap – even give an eight-minute explanation of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.


Like a human, it doesn’t always give the same answer to the same question – it constantly reassesses updated information in its database. In other words, it can “rethink”. Also like a human, it tries to change the subject if it doesn’t know the answer.”

Read the whole story here [registration required: meganandmurray and mandm].

[update: a reader pointed to two additional Stellarc links, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Stellarc’s website. Thanks, Frollo.]

Category: Artists

2 Comments so far ↓

  • frollo

    If you wanted to read about the head without registering, you could try this page at the ACMI website – – or Stelarc’s site itself: .
    I saw the head at ACMI a few months ago and we talked a little, me and this big pale thing looming in its darkened room. According to Alessio Cavallero over at, it “raises serious issues about consciousness, embodiment and artificial intelligence … not only questioning those attributes and how they’re embedded in technology but also how we can re-define our own concepts of consciousness or identity through interacting with such a work,” but to me it was like talking to a slightly more intelligent version of those old text adventures, the ones that used to answer half of your commands with, “I’m afraid I don’t know that.” The difference is that Stelarc’s head never traps you in a maze of twisty, turny little passages and refuses to let you go north.

  • Meg

    Thanks for pointing those out, I’ll update the post with links.

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