The Uncanny Valley
June 8th - July 27th
“The sensation of uncanniness is, at its core, an anxiety about the stability of those persons, places, and things in which we have placed our deepest trust, and our own sense of identity and belonging.” - Marjorie Sandor
‘The Uncanny Valley’, a term coined by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, is used to refer to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bearing a near-identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it. In order to experience the uncanny--this anxiety driven by the ambiguity around identity--one must first have an understanding of the familiar.
This compilation of artists, fabricators, musicians, designers and architects organized by Wave Pool’s 2019 Curator-in-Residence, designer David Corns, provides examples of how the experience of the uncanny valley can be appropriated from AI and robotics into the language of the ordinary and everyday. This group of work, though highly visual, also addresses uncanniness by means of other senses and factors: audio, touch, assemblage of materials, and more.
While the uncanny is historically associated with uneasiness, anxiety, and the grotesque, the work featured in “The Uncanny Valley” exhibition asks if we can use the effect of uncanniness to address current issues of everyday life, (whether they be social, political, or economic) to unveil something new that would otherwise go unnoticed or be unattainable by other means.
Today, our environment is becoming less nuclear, binary and traditional. We are more comfortable with the unfamiliar, fluid and dynamic. The uncanny valley, then, has the potential to accurately reflect the truth of our surroundings; revealing the hybridity and ambiguity that exists in our world, rather than a fetishized otherness.
Participating Artists include:
Ryan Back, Robert Corns, Could Be Architecture, Sophie Dannin & Matt Branham, DPMT7, Giant Claw, Tom Hoying, ITITITinc, Brent Lashley, Tyler Macko, Office Andorus, Lyndon Probst, Keith Rankin, Chris Reeves, Brooke Shanesy, Rowan Shaw-Jones, Substudio, and Jack Arthur Wood.
The 2019 Curatorial Residency is supported by individual and member contributions.
Featured Social Practice Project:
The FRINGE Bookstand opened April 6th for the first pop-up event and book-selling series of an eight week run. The FRINGE is an evolving public art piece, a pop-up bookstore, and a series of programs focused on inclusion and creative expression. The project uplifts a very visible but dis-regarded garage space in Camp Washington through a public art intervention by local LGBT artist and activist Karay Martin. The façade of the garage will be covered in 10” long colorful fringe. Parts of the wall will be chalkboards and thereby interactive, inviting viewers and passersby to partake in temporary ‘graffiti’ to express themselves and offer their neighbors and visitors positive affirmations.
The Camp Washington resident who owns the garage is Andrew McKinley, the founder and former owner of the inclusive and radical San Francisco book store, Adobe Books. He has an immense collection of texts and will be curating a diverse selection that speaks to inclusion, equality, and equity, specifically works that speak to the LGBTQAI community. The façade will open every Saturday 12-5pm; with window shelving units opening and tables moving outside to reveal the selection of books for passersby to browse and read.
The FRINGE is supported by the generosity of more than 1500 ArtsWAve Pride contributors to the ArtsWAve Community Campaign.