Boing Boing recently posted a great link to another vampire oddity that not only appropriates the popular uncanny icon of the vampire, but also that subgenre of “dolls” that for some are beautiful little darlings and for others are just too disturbingly close to real living babies — those uncanny valley dolls known as ‘reborns’.
Last year I wrote about the uncanny aura of “Cinemagraphs” — a.k.a. “animated GIFs” in a posting called “Eternal Moments and Smoking Billboards”. I made the point that these images are “an uncanny artform, because it literally “brings to life” still frames — and while this may in some ways be more apparent in stop-motion
Here’s a fun form of culture jamming — a very soft and cuddly act of public defacement not unlike smiley face graffiti — that’s picking up attention online this month: “Eyebombing.” “Eyebombing” is the art of sticking “googly eyes” (a.k.a. “wiggly eyes” — the glue-on sort of craft store kind) onto an inanimate object in
While theories of the “uncanny valley” are debatable (see Hanson’s “Upending the Uncanny Valley” (.pdf)), the quest for human-like androids and automatons continue to compel their designers. At Carnegie-Mellon University’s anthropomorphism.org, I found an interesting early study of robot head design that shows how these designers sometimes make choices about when to make robots anthropomorphic
The Sultan’s Elephant is a giant marionette parade that is so artfully done, it strikes one as uncanny. As I wrote in November, most parade floats have an uncanny appeal, but in this case the doll’s appearance seems much less mechanical (ergo, more organic) than all the visible equipment and support needed to operate it.
For Halloween, the readers of Oobject voted for their Top 12 Videos of Creepy Automata. A great theme, from cats in a milk churn to maniacally laughing dolls. One of my favorites is this clip of a Decaying 1880s Automaton Harpist by Vichy: I won’t belabor how uncanny the signifiers are here, from the doll’s