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Goodbye uncanny valley

15 minutes

As reality and CGI become indistinguishable, we need guidance from those at art’s frontiers

Since the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in the 1970s, digital animation has progressed incredibly swiftly towards photorealism as computer-processing has become exponentially more powerful. Today, the best CGI has escaped the ‘uncanny valley’, the strange space where humanoid objects approaching realism provoke a sense of eerie unease in the viewer. In his video essay Goodbye Uncanny Valley, the UK artist and animator Alan Warburton explores where we are going now that the virtual and the real are increasingly indistinguishable to our eyes. Probing everything from the latest in Hollywood blockbusters to the next wave of political propaganda and the frontiers of digital art, Warburton foresees a future where the possibilities of distorting and augmenting our experience of reality with CGI are endless – for better or worse.

Video by Alan Warburton

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