Eastern Oregon 2016 - Brooke Shanesy

Eastern Oregon 2016 - Brooke Shanesy

Uncanny Valley

Dates: June 8th - July 27th, 2019

“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.