Wednesday, 9 December 2015

automatonophobia

The brilliant Kottke, maker of fine hypertext products, introduces us to a new type of uncanny valley in the form of composite three-dimensional masking.
While trying to capture the essence, the thing in itself, of personalities or politicians, one found that a sort of ventriloquist’s dummy is created and despite transferring personæ to different individuals, the original speaker still reverberates through gestures and facial expressions that come across as familiar and recognisable but look awkward and alien on the face of another. The eeriness and conflicted vocal cues is probably best illustrated in the video demonstration of the technique with talking-heads and statesmen found at the link above. The fear of anything that impersonates a living being is called automatonophobia (as in an automaton), which can include wax-figures and mannequins too.