Art, Technology, and Education

Category Archives: sculpture

Last Outpost in Uncanny Valley

Last Outpost in Uncanny Valley

In 1970, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori published an article titled “Bukimi no Tani Gensh”, commonly translated as “The Uncanny Valley”. His theory asserts that the more humanlike a machine like a robot is presented, the more accepting humans are of it, until the resemblance to human is close, but not perfect. This triggers a sudden and deep sense of revulsion in most people, occurring just before a return to full human acceptance. The deep dip in the otherwise gentle curve of human resemblance, comfort, and recognition is mapped as the Uncanny Valley.

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Network Buddha

Network Buddha

Network Buddha debuted as part of the show “Pictures for Paik” at 21 Grand in Oakland CA in 2010. It is an homage and update to Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha. It features two repurposed iMacs running slideshows scraped from repeated Google searches. One machine plays the images as they appear in the search results. The other reprocesses the images in moving ASCII text. Between the computers sits Buddha, bathed in the light of the screens. Network Buddha offers the viewer an unexpected opportunity for meditation in the midst of technology, observing an encounter between eastern deity and western media.

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The Robot Taxonomy Project

The Robot Taxonomy Project

The Robot Taxonomy Project attempts to reconcile the differences between actual and imagined robotics and how they are represented. It is a project of the Robot Identification Institute, itself a subsidiary of the Uncanny Valley Authority.

The Robot Taxonomy Project debuted at 21 Grand in Oakland California in 2009 with interactive web terminals and chalkboards in the space to encourage additions to the taxonomy, kept as an online database.

The installation featured stylized, detailed CNC carvings of robot types in addition to the chalkboards and terminals.