Uncanny Lovers, 2014-2017
"Love and sex with robots are inevitable."
Preview of oncoming photo-book project "Uncanny Lovers"
the series was shown at:
-2016, SLIDELUCK Bydgoszcz 2016 slideluck.com
-2017, Conceal/Reveal Open Call TOP 20, Photo Oxford, OVADA gallery,8 - 24 September 20
curated by Tim Clark and Greg Hobson www.photooxford.org
-2018, OBSCURA Photo Festival - “Multiplicity” curated by Anshika Varma
Recently new intelligent robotic sex dolls have been invented as more lonely humans seek artificially human machines and their demand has grown directly in tandem with their realism. This reproduction of reality creates a deception and makes it more desirable for people enabling the feeling that technology "can offer us more reality than nature can". The "imitation nature" fulfils imagination and daydream fantasies in (hyper)reality of life. Therefore, the synthetic lovers seem more admirable and attractive serving as simulacra of unattainable partner.
"Uncanny Lovers" is a voyerstic project tackling subject of "Robophilia" shot on amateur Polaroid camera combining concept of technlogy with nostalgia of old times, tying into concept of "hauntology" which reflecting the spirit of our age , the product of a time which is dislocated. It sips into into the fields of postmodernism, metafiction and retro-futurism without creating a clear distinction. There is a prevailing sense that our civilisation is stuck at the "end of history". Meanwhile, new technologies are disrupting more traditional notions of time and place, creating a ghostly presence-absence.
The photograps, grotesque yet intimate depict (from voyeristic perspective) lives of small subset of men and women who have emotional relationships with robotic sex dolls — a fact that many in society find even more disturbing than the certainty of physical contact with the uncanny lovers.
The project is tackling subject of loneliness and isolation triggered by development of technology as well as controversy of growing demand for virtual reality and robotic sex within the context of current norms. An artifical partner that blinks, moves and even converse with human beings, created ultimately to provide illusion of emotional intimacy and enjoyment of physical contact. It has been forecasted that in 50 years relationships and sex with robots will become a common occurrence.
"Dolls don’t possess any of the unpleasant qualities that organic, flesh and blood humans have.
A synthetic will never lie to you, cheat on you, criticize you, or be otherwise disagreeable."
(Davecat, the dolls collector)
For this projeci I used Masahiro Mori's concept of “uncanny valley” portraying real humans as robotic dolls, to describe the observed phenomenon that the more near-identical human resemblence the a computer-generated figure or humanoid robots bear, the more uneasy people find them to be.
People can usually accept robots if they still look clearly like robots; but if they look almost completely human—but not quite—we are disturbed, repulsed by them.