The Uncanny

I had heard of the uncanny theory before, particularly the uncanny valley, though Phil's lecture yesterday cemented my understanding in the Freudian concept. Something familiar, yet uncomfortably foreign at the same time, this is most apparent in humanoid type objects appearing to have the ability to move despite being lifeless.

The uncanny valley as Masahiro Mori explains, is a phenomenon that occurs the closer we start to resemble humanoid objects as human beings, the more we start to feel uncomfortable by what we see. A clear example is waxwork models or humanoid robots in the constant strive to achieve human realism.


Of course, the uncanny valley is something which pervades into the realm of CG, with feature films such as Polar Express and video games such as Oblivion, human characters bear a familiar yet peculiar quality way not quite fitting. But why is this so? The closer we strive for human likeness the farther we appear to do so. One theory suggests that as we start to recognise these animated objects as human beings, the visual anomalies are instinctively recognised as human ones which we inherently avert to.


For another clear example from which I found extremely disturbing, hit the link below. Its very creepy and gave me a bit of the chills so be prepared - mind you the image is pretty creepy enough.


Link Here (Allow some time to load)

In this project, we won't be able to use direct human figures as such but perhaps we can allude to their presence with shadows and objects. Producing the uncanny within our environments will prove challenging and be particularly intriguing to see what we can come up with.

2 comments:

Alison said...

Leo that is really creepy, it's so life like. Don't get me wrong its also amazingly designed and made and if she could do my ironing I'd get one. lol

Leo said...

Yup, super creepy. Its the eyes more than anything.

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