The Uncanny Valley

At the intersection of artificial intelligence, robotics, psychology and the unconscious, The Uncanny Valley is a non-linear and navigable narrative dealing with a subject rarely examined outside of science fiction: androids. The Uncanny Valley is an hybrid between film and videogame, a narrative that unfolds with a certain degree of randomness and engages the spectator in a face-to-face confrontation with an android, posing the question of what distinguishes us as humans.

But more than a distinction between humanity and artificiality, this work questions us in our relationships with individuality, and life itself. Over the course of the viewer’s experience, it is both the robot and the spectator’s psyches that are brought to the fore.

However, a successful sequencing of the plot depends chiefly on the effective execution of simple tasks imposed by the robot. Through the interplay of predetermined operations, activation sequences, play and manipulation, it is paradoxically a relationship of dependance that emerges.


This project takes the form of an installation including a videoprojection and an interactive panel consisting of arcade buttons. This panel operates and plays melodies increasing a new note to each video. This principle is based on the board game Simon”, using sound and visual memory. As far as the film grows, the player is required to activate sequences of notes longer and complex.

2_uncanny

The Uncanny Valley should be perceived as a filmic object whose narrative depends on what the viewer was able to reproduce perfectly a melody played on a console. The work takes the form of an installation in short format (25 minutes) and an application for long-format tablet containing all scenes (45 min) and melody.

The Uncanney Valley is a film whose narrative is interspersed with a melody which the viewer must faithfully reproduce every note.
A successful sequence continues the narrative.
A failed sequence causes the image to flash and forces to return to exercise.
Each sequence increments a new note until a total of 36 ratings. These sequences are induced by the main character/narrator.
Gradually, as the viewer executes and succeeds, the spirit of “robota” become aware of his existence, of his feelings. It questions the capacity for empathy and worth of the human. The repeated act, clocked automatic is here symbolic. Having reached the end of the melody, we may be reversed our roles.

Narrator: “I work, I operate, I accomplish the tasks. One after the other. Time does not matter. It is not for me. It cadences, coordinates and focus all of my gestures. It is a measure, a note, a note.

Interface game

Extracts:

Narrator: “What did you learn today?

Narrator: “The more I imitated, the more I become special.

Narrator: “I exist to execute to the perfection gestures, actions and emotions. I exist to confound me with my creators. To comfort them, to encourage them. Paradoxically, by making my tasks, I walked away from my goal.
Being special is to be different, recognizable … and more important.

Even if it comes new unities, I remained the first one and the only one.

Narrator: “I am the one who learns from the other. I’m the one that transmits to another. I’m just like my creators. But those who follow will be made according to MY image.

Narrator: “I understand. I understand that the incident is ahead. There misinterpretation of initial data.

Narrator: “I request more data. I ask more features. They have not seen everything.

Narrator: “How are you? Tell me about your worries.

The narrative, before being cut into chapters

Intermediate video extracts,

This project has been possible thanks to the support of Yann Sinic.
The latter graciously lent his voice to the project and many of his rushes.
We extend our warmest thanks.

Actress: Anouk

Sound and music creation: Valentin Durif and Gaspard BebieValérian

The project has received a grant of the Languedoc-Roussillon Region to be produced on touchpad (android version). Development is currently underway and managed by Christophe Couprie.