Looking Outwards

by xiaoyuan @ 1:30 pm 13 January 2010

This is a piece created by Nathaniel Mellor. It consists of three robot heads singing “freedom freedom freedom…” in a weird voice. It is slightly creepy and seems to exploit the the uncanny valley by looking realistic but behaving purposely robotic. The eyes roll around asymmetrically, unblinking. They don’t show emotion. The face of each head is basically a painted rubber mask and the machines behind it part and close the lips to simulate speaking. There are aspects that can be improved. Firstly, when a head speaks, it doesn’t move any facial muscles and so it doesn’t appear as though it is talking. Secondly, the head looks slightly blobby and unstructured in movement because the masks don’t have skulls to hold the shape. While there are other realistic-looking animatronic talking heads, what makes this work unique and likable is that it is purposely weird and disturbing.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Xiaoyuan,
    If you had included an embedded video, it was unfortunately deleted (because I only just fixed this). Could you please restore the video or add a link to your post.

    Comment by golan — 18 January 2010 @ 3:11 am

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