Art in the Age of the Uncanny



| Christopher Lawton | Msc (Media Arts & Imaging) | 2010 | Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design | University of Dundee |


Abstract

This study seeks to examine the phenomenon of the Uncanny, and how it relates to artistic practice.  It will show how the Uncanny has an evolutionary tie to humanity1, and how this relationship has greatly influenced art since the Enlightenment2.  This study will also explore the Uncanny nature of technology, such as photography, film, and computer graphics.  In doing so, it hopes to provoke further thinking on the topic through discussion of some of the subtle ways the Uncanny impacts on contemporary culture.

1 Jentsch, E. 1906 (in Jentsch, E. 1997). 2 Royle, N. 2003.

  • Image 001
    • Title: Eyes.
    • Created By: Tony Oursler, 2010.
    • Faurschou Gallery, Beijing.
    • Photograph By: Unknown.
    • Sourced from: www.tonyoursler.com
  • Image 002
    • Title: Uncanny Valley Chart.
    • Created By: Masahiro Mori, 1970.
    • Sourced from: www.wikipedia.com
  • Image 003
    • Title: Reed Warlber Feeding A Cuckoo.
    • Photograph By: H. Olsen, 2007.
    • Sourced from: www.wikipedia.com
  • Image 004
    • Title: Liera.
    • Created By: Winkler + Noah, 2006.
    • Sourced from: http://www.winkler-noah.it/wn/index.php?/project/the-puppet-show/
  • Image 005
    • Title: In Bed.
    • Created By: Ron Mueck, 2005.
    • Brooklyn Museum Private Collection.
    • Photograph By: Unknown.
    • Sourced from: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/ron_mueck/in_bed.php
  • Image 006
    • Title: Queenie 2.
    • Created By: Duane Hanson, 1988.
    • Saatchi Gallery.
    • Photograph By: Unknown.
    • Sourced from: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/artpages/duane_hanson_queenie_2.htm
  • Image 007
    • Title: Self Portrait of Robert Cornelious.
    • Photograph by: Robert Cornelious, 1839.
    • Daguerrotype Collection. The Library of Congress, USA.
    • Thought to be the first portrait photograph of all time.
    • Sourced from: www.explorepahistory.com
  • Image 008
    • Title: Original Death Mask of Henry John Temple, 1784 – 1865
    • Photograph By: John Delaney, 2003.
    • Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks; A Pictorial Guide.
    • Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
    • Princeton University Library.
    • Sourced from: http://library.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/C0770/p-s.html#p-s
  • Image 009
    • Title: Sleepyhead 001
    • Created By: Christopher Lawton, 2010.
    • A photo-realistic 3D sculpture created entirely digitally on a computer.
  • Image 010
    • Title: Ballerina In A Death’s Head.
    • Created By: Salvador Dali, 1939.
    • Collection Metz.
    • Sourced from: www.dali-gallery.com
  • Image 011
    • Title: The Birth Machine
    • Created By: H. R. Giger, 1967.
    • Giger Archive.
    • Sourced from: www.hrgiger.com
  • Image 012
    • Title: La Vigne Nostre Seigneur
    • Created By: Unknown, 1460-1470.
    • Sourced from: http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/06/plethora.html

All images used under fair use for educational purposes.

Chris LawtonArt in the Age of the Uncanny 01