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 his peers, Heath Franco 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.

Heath Franco

born Cooma, NSW 1984. Lives and works Sydney


single-channel 4K video, sound, Twimojis
Courtesy the artist

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


I googled the origin of the word ‘Google’. They say, ‘The name of the search engine originated from a misspelling of the word “googol”, the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, which was picked to signify that the search engine was intended to provide large quantities of information’.

Nikolai Gogol (1809–52) was a Russian writer of Ukrainian origin whose work flirts with the grotesque and the absurd. His short story The nose follows the plight of a St Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and takes on a life of its own, refusing to reattach. It’s the anatomical equivalent of a split personality disorder.

One of the characters in Heath Franco’s work has an elongated nose. Kind of like Pinocchio. Apt I guess, for he spins stories too. All these avatars do. They’re split selves; imagined absurdist internet icons.

The Google home page is protected by copyright, so Heath made his own search engine: Newspider. ‘I’ve got one question’, a Heath avatar repeatedly types into the search bar. There are no single answers or single selves on the internet. Only rabbit holes.

— Isobel Parker Philip