Thursday, 3 December 2009

Lecture #2... The Uncanny Valley...

So we had our second lecture on Tuesday, and it was very insightful into whatg 'The Uncanny' was and gave some good examples i could research into when i come to write my essay. I had already done sme research nt the Freudian concept prior to this lecture, but it gave a bettr knowledge and understanding of the term. I think it's helpful that there are some links on MyUCA, but i'm hoping the first chapter frrom 'The Uncanny' isn't as confusing as Phil made it sound. Nonetheless, i'm sure i'll get my head round it after a few times reading it over. I love the way Phil broke down the meaning of unheimlich (unhomely) showing the contradiction that its definition brings. In the end he gave the question, how can heimlich be not strange and unscrutible? I think this is something that not only needs to be considered when writing my essay, but during my tableaux vivant piece too, as it is this idea of heimlich, the homely, that will give it that sense of eerieness that i wish t accomplish based on Gregory Crewdson's work. We then looked at The Uncanny Valley, which at first seemed quite a daunting graph, but when explained, it was easy to understad and portrayed a reasonable theory behind The Uncanny.

The Uncanny Valley, in basic terms, describes the human reaction to certain human likenesses and theie familiarity. Using the examples on the graph, you can see something like an industrial robot, which may bare features like arms, a human feature, is perfectly acceptable and doesn't cause much of an issue. Whereas something like a prosthetic hand, which we see as a completely resembles the human feature, causes many issues whether it's still or moving. The Uncanny Valley, in film theory, plays a big role in representing audience reactions in films like I, Robot, Final Fantasy and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Examples of uncanny objects include waxworks, automata and dolls because they areso life-like, we feel they must surely be alive. In these cases The Uncanny becomes an issue "when the lifeless bares an excessive resemblence with the living."

Chucky is an example of something which might seem as uncanny, but isn't, because he is alive/animate and physically moves. But The Uncanny depends on the viewer and therefore the reaction will vary depending on different people's acceptance and knowledge of the 'familiar'.


  1. 'Return of the Invasion of the Body-Snatchers' - see below for snippets from the three remakes - and, if you have time, give them a go - the 1993 version is often overlooked...




  2. Hey all, I'm Liam, a third year student.

    Everyone is now using blogger on our course, and there's a nice community growing with people following each others blogs and helping each other with issues. Not everyone is linked up to each other though, and I thought a central blog for the course which everyone could post to would be a pretty nice idea. I've made one at this address:

    It would also mean that rather then relying on the slow blogfeed and having to surf through the 70 odd blogs that we have between us, we can just come straight to this one.
    With a large knowledge base between everyone a lot of issues could be resolved fairly quickly, and so any problems can be posted here, and we will all have quick access to them.
    Also if anyone has found any good tutorials, has started a new project blog, has had a breakthrough they're pleased with, or whatever else, they can whack it on here.
    Just put a subject in the post title (eg. ISSUE - Blend Shapes, TUTORIAL - Advanced Rigging etc) and blog away.

    If you want to join comment in the first post with your email address (can't do it via linking) and I'll send you an author invite. If you don't want your email address published then just send me one ( saying that you want in.
    When you've joined post saying hello, a link to your blog and whatever else you want.

    Cheers, hopefully hear from you all soon!

    Liam x