Empathy Chart

Hany Armanious2009

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Hany Armanious is a sculptor who explores ideas of doubling and artifice through the transformation of objects. Utilising the process of casting, he creates simulacra of insigificant everyday objects, investing them with enigmatic value. Fastidious explorations of form, they are often decorative as well as humorous. 'Empathy Chart', seemingly a scruffy, broken pinboard, is a carefully cast work in polyurethane, replete with scuff marks and uneven edges. The pins are coloured dots of polyurethane that the artist placed into the mould prior to pouring. 'Empathy Chart' was shown in his 2009 exhibition Uncanny Valley, the title alluding to 1970s research into robotics by the Japanese roboticist, Masahiro Mori. When charting public attitudes toward robots with human attributes, Mori found that as the robots became more life-like, people’s empathy with the robots increased; but as the robots’ appearance improved and they became more human-like, unexpectedly people’s attitudes switched sharply from empathy to repugnance. It is this graph of people’s responses which Armanious references in 'Empathy Chart', and the idea of the disturbing copy is something that has become a feature of his practice.

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  • Title: Empathy Chart
  • Creator: Hany Armanious
  • Date Created: 2009
  • Physical Dimensions: w122 x h86 x d2 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by the artist, 2010 Image courtesy and copyright the artist
  • External Link: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • Medium: cast polyurethane, pigment


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