Have you ever heard of the uncanny valley hypothesis?
It is a term used in aesthetics to describe the idea that we feel revulsion toward human replicas that are not quite the same as us but come eerily close.
While the animatronic creation of artist Jordan Wolfson isn’t quite identical to us, it definitely falls into uncanny valley territory for me. When he moved to Los Angeles in 2013, he began work on the sculpture that he calls “The Dancer,” or “The Female Figure.” It is supposed to communicate a woman’s experience of being looked at and objectified, but it does much more than that.
Here is the robot in Wolfson’s 2014 “14 Rooms” Art Basel Show In Switzerland. You’ll quickly notice that her eyes were designed to follow viewers wherever they walk, and she whispers in the artist’s voice. Watch the whole video. I swear it’s worth it.
You’d think that the behind-the-scenes video would be much less creepy, but that definitely isn’t the case.
Well, I think my fear of lifelike robots has gotten significantly stronger. I just want to know what he does with it when it’s not on display. On second thought, no I don’t.