Android Theater & The Uncanny Valley

February 10, 2013 / 0 comments

Last night, during the ‘blizzard,’ I went to the Japan Society to see the first play featuring an android actor. The Seinendan Theater Company and Osaka University Robot Theater Project are currently touring with two one act plays: “Sayonara” and “I, Worker.” Both written and directed by Oriza Hirata expressly for the android and robots featured in…

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In Search of a Free System: WikiLeaks & Tron

December 9, 2010 / 0 comments

In The Hacker Ethic, Pekka Himanen argues that the hacker community’s values are a “general social challenge” which include “the goal of getting everybody to participate in the network and to benefit from it, to feel responsible for longer term consequences of the network society, and to directly help those who have been left on…

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Robot Acceptance

September 14, 2010 / 0 comments

A post in the NYT photo blog asks if Japanese acceptance of robotics has origins in Shinto belief. (via Elizabeth Housley)  Surprisingly they don’t mention Masahiro Mori. Will we see humanoid robots taking more active roles in hospitals, constructions sites and other work places outside Japan?  And will robots like the Paro therapy seal showing…

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“Uncanny Valley vs The Digital Übermensch”

February 2, 2009 / 0 comments

A post on _Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1_ titled “_Emily is Not Real_: Uncanny Valley vs The Digital Übermensch” refers to my paper “Mapping the Temples of Cyborgism” and uses the graphic I created to illustrate an expansion of Mori’s map of the uncanny valley. The post is a RICH mine of links – so check it out….

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Erik Davis at Palais de Tokyo

July 6, 2008 / 0 comments

Interview with Davis during Loris Gréaud’s Cellar Door installation.

Spiritual Robots

May 19, 2008 / 0 comments

Reading Spiritual robots: Religion and our scientific view of the natural world by Robert M. Geraci

Notes: David Porush

December 15, 2007 / 0 comments

“Every time culture succeeds in revolutionizing its cybernetic technologies, in massively widening the bandwidth of its thought-tech, it invites the creation of new gods.” quoted by Erik Davis in Techgnosis, pg 37 The full paragraph: “How do we reconcile the rationalism of utopian vision with the obvious irrationalism of postmodernism generally, and of cyberpunk/cyberfiction in…

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The Temple of Apple

October 26, 2007 / 0 comments

ZDnet posts an article called “Mac OS X Leopard installation as a spiritual practice“. I’m engaging in that practice right now – preparing my various Macs for the upgrade, the archive and install and the clean install. But it’s more than the installation that is spiritual. To retrieve the software, I walked through the rain…

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Electronic Communication and Social Justice

October 2, 2007 / 0 comments

Dr. Mala Htun discusses the crucial role that electronic communication plays in the social justice movement for Burma.

Glimmung: Gyroscope, Teenage Girl & Ocean

September 14, 2007 / 0 comments

I had the great pleasure of reading Phil Dick’s Galactic Pot-Healer (1969) last week. I’m now about to finish The Unteleported Man (1966). Pot-Healer is an extraordinary story of a divine life form from another world (yes, it’s Dick, you probably could have assumed that much) who recruits artisans, scientists and engineers from all over…

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BR: The Final Cut

July 28, 2007 / 0 comments

Expanding the Uncanny Valley

July 20, 2007 / 0 comments

In 2005, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori issued a brief article, On Uncanny Valley, which proposes an amendment to his original graph of familiarity vs. appearance (human likeness). He adds “something more attractive and amiable than human beings in the further right-hand side of the valley.” I’ve created this figure as a sketch of this expanded…

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Mapping the Temples of Cyborgism

July 5, 2007 / 0 comments

I’ve been working on completing a paper I began in Jenna Tiitsman’s Cinema and Religion course at Hunter College which explores the numinous potential of replicants in Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner. Cyborgs challenge the praxis that has traditionally divided human and machine (and companion/slave, animal/food, creator/creation, etc.). In doing so, they threaten to disrupt…

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Emergent Robotic ‘Beast’

May 27, 2007 / 0 comments

The following quote from Tiitsman’s article on destabilized spectatorship and the creative potential of chaos in Blade Runner suggests another cognitive space in which a Temple of Cyborgism emerges. “Replicant identity can only be unequivocally determined by a test of involuntary pupil dilation in emotional response. However the viability of this test is thrown in…

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