Art.CHI 2017

Interactive Media Works

A CHI2017 Exhibition

Understanding The Human Object

If you prick us, do we not bleed?

Agi Haines

This work is part of a larger research project, Understanding The Human Object, in which various sub-projects will come together to question the idea of creating a working consensus between different disciplines and people. This particular strand, 'if you prick us, do we not bleed?' (Shakespeare, 1826) intends to focus on the rhetoric within scientific modeling of humanoid objects and how the production of these visuals can alter emotional responses and behaviors.

Based on ideas within the historical representation of scientific imagery, the sculptures created are intentionally provocative, in order to replicate the themes and ideals found within this type of image production. These objects will act as tools to form a greater understanding of sympathy and guilt towards non-human objects, as well as questioning our perception of what might be considered more 'human.' This can give us an indication of how realism can alter our perception of humanoid objects.

By looking at aspirations in the portrayal of 'the human being' alongside the reality of bodily function, the models will bring together societal wants and desires alongside their counterpart horrors and disgusts: a test to see if they return a haptic and emotional response that conflates these opposing sentiments. The aim is to leave the audience with a greater understanding of the potential affects of the production and treatment of integrated societal technologies such as humanoid robots.


Blood Test.

Blood Test.

First pour of prosthetic silicone.

Face casting of model.

Painting and hair insertion.


Agi Haines
CogNovo PhD research fellow, Plymouth University, UK
Agi trained as a speculative designer in the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art. The focus of her work is the design of the human body: How might people respond to the possibilities of our body as another everyday material and how far can we push our malleable bodies while still being accepted by society?