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Uncanny Valley theory

Photograph of a writing desk with a mechanical arm writing on a reel of white paper

Auto-Dali Prosthetic, 2000, copyright Flowers East, London

The title of this exhibition, 'Uncanny Valley', comes from a graph devised by Masahiro Mori. The graph illustrates the varying degrees of unease felt when we encounter something unexpected. For instance, if we expect to shake a human hand and grasp one that looks perfectly normal, but find it is cold and spongy, we experience a feeling of revulsion. When we anticipate stillness, movement is disturbing. An inert object, like a cupboard, can be frightening if it moves. The most terrifying experience, at the very bottom of Mori's 'Uncanny Valley', is a moving corpse.

Mori's description of our responses to the unexpected was one of the major inspirations that set Tim Lewis on the path to creating his idiosyncratic machines.

External Link

The Uncanny Valley - Dave Bryant|