Lynn Hershman Leeson

The Dollie Clones

1995, 1996


Net Works

The Dollie Clones are two telerobotic dolls: Tille, The Telerobotic Doll and CybeRoberta.  Both dolls’ eyes have been replaced with cameras: a video camera in the left eye, a web cam in the right eye. The video cameras produce real-time stream of each doll’s line of sight, uploading images to a web feed that refreshes every thirty seconds. Each doll has a website that allows users to view the images taken by the webcams and click on an “eyecon” to telerobotically turn the doll’s head 180 degrees to survey the space the doll is in. Visitors to the physical space can also transmit images back to the website. When the two dolls are exhibited together, they pirate each other’s information, blurring their identities. By looking at the world through the eyes of either doll, viewers become not only voyeurs but also virtual cyborgs, because they use her eyes as a vehicle for their own remote and extended vision. 

Tillie, the Telerobotic Doll (1995)

Tille, the Telerobotic Doll, 1995, custom-made doll, clothing, webcam, surveillance camera, original programming and telerobotic head-rotating system, laptop

“A few months after the first cloned sheep named Dolly was announced to the public, I created two telerobotic dolls. “The Dollie Clones” refers to these two identically programmed ‘sisters’. Tillie was the older sibling. Her birth was slow and painful. However, the brain could be duplicated into a family of humanoids that could be fleshed out through the Net.”

– Lynn Hershman Leeson

CybeRoberta (1996)

CybeRoberta - 1996

CybeRoberta, 1996, custom-made doll, clothing, glasses, webcam, surveillance camera, mirror, original programming and telerobotic head rotating system

CybeRoberta is a miniaturized version of Hershman Leeson’s alter ego, Roberta Breitmore, recognizable by her signature hair ornaments and sunglasses.

Diagram for Tille, the Telerobotic Doll and CybeRoberta, 1995/1996, photograph