Science and Tech
What Are These Strange and Spooky Science Images?

Marshall Lemon | 27 Oct 2014 16:00
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When people think of the robot apocalypse, they usually imagine hardened Terminators or deadly drones breaking the wills of humanity. They usually don't imagine androids dancing their way through the uncanny valley. But here we are.

This is "Female Figure," an animatronic doll created by Jordon Wolfson and displayed at the David Zwimer Gallery. Designed in the form of a barely dressed human woman in a witch mask covered in dirt marks, she spends her time dancing to Robin Thicke, Paul Simon, and Lady Gaga, moving in beat with the music and even lip-syncing the lines.

Despite clearly being a robot, many of its details can be especially unsettling. Outside of the dance motions, she can move individual fingers and speaks recorded dialogue with a surprisingly lifelike mouth. But the really creepy part? Face-tracking technology: Female Figure can lock eyes with anyone whose reflection is visible in her mirror, and her gaze lingers as you move across the room.

According to Wolfson, the piece isn't about women specifically; it's about exploring the relationship between subject and object by giving art the ability to "look" back at you. You'll have to decide for yourself if he was successful... if you can stand being watched for long.

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