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Two small tupperware robots sit on chairs facing each other and hold a conversation. They talk about their work, expectations for themselves, the world around them and the quality of the tea. They periodically turn to have a look around.

These robots look and sound domestic not industrial or military. And, unlike most computers, they are not at our beck and call. They are deeply involved in their own conversation and completely ignore the people around them.

Idle Talk is a computer installation controlled by code which generates dialogue, synthesises it into speech and turns motors in the robots. Electronics technical support was provided by Hugh Mallinder.

The dialogue is collected from human conversations overheard in work places, cafes and buses and the site of the installation.



1999 Riverside Studios, London
1999 Watermans Arts Centre, London

Digital Underground, Aldwych underground station, London
M.A. Digital Art Middlesex Universty degree show