Friday Ephemera
Elsewhere (23)



It's an amazing construction project. The photos are great.


It looks unreal, almost like a film set.

Simen Thoresen

Wow. Is there no limit to the different types of porn that I appreciate?

Great find, and pretty pictures. Thank you, David.


Andrew Zalotocky

It looks unreal, but like a computer game. I think it's the texture of the rocks that does it, along with the lights that look like they've been placed there simply for effect. I feel like I should be scanning the scene through a sniper scope, looking for sentries to pick off with a Gauss rifle.

In robotics and computer animation there is the concept of the "uncanny valley". The idea is that as human simulacra become more and more realistic they pass through a stage in which they suddenly become repulsive, because they present a very realistic simulation of human anatomy without all the subtle details of human movement. For example, an android may look absolutely human when sitting still but may appear horribly robotic as soon as it moves. An animated character may suffer the same problem because it simulates all the large-scale facial muscle movements but not the small movements around the eyes that express a great deal about a person's emotional state. They move like animated corpses instead of living people, and thus provoke revulsion.

I suggest that there is a similar effect in the depiction of inanimate objects. There are obviously non-realistic depictions that we interpret symbolically. There are photo-realistic representations that we accept as an accurate depiction of reality. In between there are images, including some actual photographs, which just look wrong. They depict the gross anatomy of a scene while losing all the subtle detail that makes it seem real and thus fall into the uncanny valley of the unliving.

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