The Prosthetic Head is an embodied conversational agent that speaks to the person who interrogates it, with real-time lip synching, speech synthesis and facial expressions. The extensive data base of the Prosthetic Head enables it to respond adequately to personal, artistic and philosophical questions. In a way, its a of digital portrait of the artist. The creative capabilities of the Prosthetic Head include generating its own poetry and song-like sounds, which are different every time it is asked to perform. Recent developments have led to the Articulated Head, with a six-degree-of-freedom industrial robot arm. An attention model for the Articulated Head (THAMBS - Thinking Head Attention Model and Behavioural System), was developed with the Head able to perform vision tracking and sound location. Its active perception enables it to adapt to its environment and people it is interacting with. Just as a physical body exposed is inadequate, empty and involuntary, the Prosthetic Head project makes problematic notions of intelligence, awareness, identity, agency and embodiment.
About the Artist
Stelarc is Chair in Performance Art, Brunel University West London and Senior Research Fellow at MARCS Auditory Labs, University of Western Sydney. He is presently surgically constructing and stem-cell growing an extra ear. The EAR ON ARM will be electronically augmented and internet enabled. In 2010 he was awarded the Hybrid Arts Prize at Ars Electronica, Linz.