Listening Heads (2006)
interactive installation with two LCD screens, hanging microphones
Kentaro Yamada’s Listening Heads (2006) responsiveness is equated with presence. Speaking into one of the two microphones hanging in front of these large-scale video portraits provokes an emotive but silent expression from the sitters – they frown, fall asleep, look bored, intent. The faces form a thin veneer over a computer interface, as the viewer engages in a phantasmic conversation or a perfect monologue. The work generates a facsimile of human interaction, the magic circle of eye contact.
Kentaro Yamada is a new media artist who was born in Fukuoka, Japan but was raised, and now lives and works in New Zealand. Kentaro works with graphic and web design and creates video, sound, and interactive installations. Kentaro’s work Tampopo is a finalist for the Share prize, to be awarded at the Share Festival in Turin, Italy, in March 2008. His 2006 work The Kiss Project was developed into "I Kiss NZ", staged to promote the New Zealand film industry at Cannes Lions advertising festival. Since completing his BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts, Kentaro has exhibited in Auckland, Texas, Thailand, Melbourne, and on the Rhizome net.art site. In 2007 he was a member of the reference group on Asian Aucklanders and the Arts, initiated by Creative New Zealand, and started the Happy artist run gallery in Auckland.