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Partial Head

Living Cells, Nutrient, Glass, Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Electronics



The PARTIAL HEAD was a project that was inspired and generated from the image of the flattened digital skin that was made for the PROSTHETIC HEAD (a computer generated head that speaks to the person who interrogates it).

For the PARTIAL HEAD, the artist's face was scanned, as was a hominid skull. The human face was then digitally transplanted over the hominid skull, constructing a THIRD FACE, one that becomes post-hominid and pre-human in form. The data was used to print a scaffold of ABSi thermal plastic, using a 3D printer. The scaffold was seeded with living cells.

The PARTIAL HEAD is a partial portrait of the artist, which was partially living. Its life-support system was a custom engineered bioreactor/incubator and circulatory system which immersed the head in nutrient kept at 37° Celsius.

The PARTIAL HEAD became contaminated after one week. It was preserved in formaldehyde for the remaining time of the exhibition.

Partial Head



The initial research was conducted in collaboration with TC&A (ORON CATTS AND IONAT ZURR), with the support of SymbioticA, UWA, Perth Scanning and consultation for the scaffold by MARK WALTERS MSc, Cranio-Maxillo Facial Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth Engineering of bioreactor DR. TIM WETHERELL, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, ANU, Canberra Digital imaging supervised by DARREN EDMUNDSON, ANU Supercomputer Facility, Vizlab, Canberra and modeling by VINCENT WAN, Shah Alam, Malaysia Initial face and simian casts by NINA SELLARS Tissue Engineering by CYNTHIA WONG from the Tissue Engineering Group, Swinburne University, Melbourne, led by Dr. Yos S. Morsi Special thanks to Dr. Cameron Jones and Cynthia Verspaget The PARTIAL HEAD was first exhibited for "Imagine" at the HEIDE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, 18 July- 29 October, 2006 Stelarc was a recipient of a New Media Arts Fellowship, The Australia Council 2005-2006.