David Altair Karave and a group of East Austin artists, architects, engineers, and volunteers are creating a “Psychokinetic Child,” a 20-foot tall mechanical newborn baby head. The gigantic, interactive three-dimensional head will feature fully mechanized mouth and eyes.
Baby head visitors will be able to walk inside the sculpture and visit the five shrines to modern life: objects that provide meditations on homes, clothes, cars, chairs and phones. Karave, a self-described “robotic sculpture artist, filmmaker, art therapist, and astronomer,” explains to KUT News, “When you go into this head, you’ll see all of these objects that represent some of the first objects that a child might question at the first moments of their lives.”
After completion, the project will be on display for a week or two at Austin’s Indra’s Awarehouse, but its ultimate destination is the 2013 Burning Man, an annual late summer festival in the northern Nevada desert. It’s not immediately clear how the sculpture fits into this year’s artistic theme, “Cargo Cult,” unless considering some modern theorists interpretations of cargo cults as a damning critique of Western commodity fetishism. And the “myth of the return” discussed by cargo cult anthropologists may be similar to the myth of any newborn innocence experience by visitors to the baby head. Like most Burning Man art projects, the “Psychokinetic Child” will be destroyed in a giant bonfire.