Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Austin, Get Ready for This Giant, Mechanical Newborn Baby Head

Sure, art can be “heady” in the metaphorical sense. But few projects both metaphorically and literally embody that adjective like the Psychokinetic Child: a 20 foot tall, three-dimensional baby head.

Currently under construction, the exterior of the head will feature a fully mechanized mouth and eyes. But it's on the inside where things  get interesting: the curious may walk inside the baby’s head to contemplate five shrines to objects familiar to modern life – homes, clothes, cars, chairs and phones.

Creator David Altair Karavesays that by immersing the audience in the mind of a child, he’s calling to shirk earthly possessions.

“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,” Karave says. “It seems like our objects are always garnering so much of our attention, and we never seem to have time to take a moment to look inside ourselves and understand ourselves.”

An unnamed volunteer surveys wood pieces for the Psychokinetic Child.

The project is being assembled by a team of over 20 artists, architects, engineers and volunteers. Many of the building materials – interlocking pieces of wood cut from a computer-assisted design – came from the Austin Resource Center.

After it’s debut in Austin, the wooden noggin will head to the Burning Man Festival, that famous shamanistic shindig in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. While it isn’t his first installation featured at a music festival – his last piece of robotic art was featured at the Bonaroo Festival – he’s happy to represent Austin weirdness at Burning Man.

“We’re really proud to bring this project out to what’s arguably the greatest art festival in the world and represent for Austin,” Karave says.

Ready to get heady? The project will be on display at Indra’s Awarehouse in a week or two, Karave says. After that, the baby head makes a quick stop in Denver, then it’s off to Burning Man – where it will be sacrificially burned as the festival peaks.

The crew is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help with travel expenses; in the video below, Karave waxes about the Psycho-Kinetic Child, misplacing his keys and more:

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
Related Content