Thursday, 3 December 2009

Unit 3- Uncanny Objects

The Uncanny
, in German Unheimliche, or more literally un-home-ly in English, is Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange.
To better understand this concept, Masahiro Mori created a graph where is better visualized how we group some things that are familiar but yet scary or weird.

As the lifeless bears excessive likeness with the living to better understand it I went on a quest to find some Uncanny examples:

Crossing the Uncanny Valley

In this example the 1st Angelina Jolie is the original one, who everybody is familiar with, on the second picture this weird feeling that is something is wrong with photo starts to appear as it is not the original work, but a waxwork of the same actress, giving the 'uncanny' feeling where the familiar crossed the boundary of the natural, becoming a supernatural replica of the human body. It continues on the 3rd example, in the picture is a extraordinary piece of CG, where the designers tried to produce a extremely similar human like appearance to a 3d Model, It is reproducing the Angelina Jolie, but as we perceive it, once again something in the picture is not right.

Another example, is this variation of the famous Matt Groening's Homer Simpson where the realistic takes place instead of the normal 'cartoony' look, however we are all familiar with the cartoon version of The Simpsons character, the realistic version is no longer appealing but instead the creepiness takes place.

The uncanny feeling can be provoked by in-numerous human-like objects or pictures:

Body Prosthesis or Disembodied parts



                      Original                                      Hyper-realistic CG Portrait 

Realistic portraits can give that chill down your spine when you look at them, especially if its using CG technology, where the real and normal provokes that uneasiness feeling.
More CG Portraits Here


As I had the opportunity to see this photograph in person in an empty room, it gave me an uneasy feeling, where the only thing I thought was at some point they would start to speak at the same time, and completing each other sentences.

Voodoo Dolls

Another object is the voodoo dolls, although the ritual is already creepy by nature, the fact that you would see yourself in a look of a doll it gives a really strange feeling.


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