Cass

Hyper-linked is an exhibition for the digital realm, presenting new projects by seven contemporary Australian artists. Each artist is alert to the almost paradoxical fact that we are experiencing mass disconnect in an age of hyper-connectivity.

Like her peers, Amrita Hepi examines the role the internet plays in shaping our lives and the ways in which we communicate, bearing witness and paying tribute to our networked selves.

This artwork is interactive. When you send a text message to the phone number provided below, you will be introduced to Cass. You are invited to chat with her and respond Y/N, or however you wish. To keep the conversation going, you may need to respond even if she does not ask you a direct question. You can return to the chat multiple times, and new conversations will unfold.

Text +61 429 983 628
to begin your conversation with Cass

Read T&Cs below

Notice and disclaimer in relation to interaction with this artwork

Standard mobile SMS charges (depending on your service) may apply if you interact with this artwork.

The artist Amrita Hepi is using a third-party service provider, Twilio Inc, to host and operate this artwork (Twilio service). The Art Gallery of NSW has no control over the Twilio service, and as a result the Art Gallery of NSW:

  • does not make any guarantees, representations or warranties in respect of the artwork or the Twilio service, including in relation to quality, operability or data security
  • has no responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense you might incur if you interact with the artwork, including arising from any data breach, virus or other contamination.

Text you provide as part of your engagement with this artwork may be stored, used and published by the artist for future artworks, promotions or any other purposes, provided that such text will be anonymised. Do not provide any harmful, inappropriate or sensitive information (including personal information) as part of your interaction with the artwork.

Your interaction with the artwork:

  • will not be subject to the Art Gallery of NSW’s Privacy Statement
  • may be subject to Twilio Inc’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Amrita Hepi

Bundjulung, South-East region; Ngāpuhi, Aotearoa/New Zealand
born Townsville, Queensland 1989. Lives and works Melbourne

Cass 2020

text and textbot
Courtesy the artist

An Art Gallery of New South Wales Together In Art New Work 2020 © Amrita Hepi
Supported by the Tindale Foundation

 

Why are most robots and androids female? Siri, Alexa, Sophia, Joaquin Phoenix’s love interest in Her. Is it because they’re meant to be subservient? Tactically non-threatening? Why, one is also impelled to ask, are they gendered at all? Do we really need to push the performance and problematic presumption of gender binaries onto the AI community? That’s another conversation altogether.

It’s interesting, no? But makes sense. These robots are relational. They’re socialised by design. They exist, in principle, to serve and support. The delicate dance between user and AI interface is, of course, carefully calibrated. Pre-meditated pillow talk. It’s not a coincidence most robotics engineers are men.

Unlike her sisters, Cass isn’t hardwired to help us. She’s neither a maternal figure nor a PA. She’s got her own agenda and has taken control of the conversation. She spins stories and asks rhetorical questions. She cares about your response only insofar as it allows her to keep going. To be heard. Because that’s the very thing her namesake was denied. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a priestess cursed to forever utter prophecies but never be believed. This Cass is a millennial herald. She’s not easily distracted, she’s multitasking. And she has many things to say – you can choose whether or not to listen.

— Isobel Parker Philip