This video showed up in one of my “Following” feeds over at Google+; Thanks, Jeff Brown!
I found this video to be oddly compelling and more than a bit unsettling. Ostensibly a “dubbed” video of a man virtuosically dancing to the music of Foster the People, I kept feeling like this was not a human I was watching. Partly it was the lack of expression on the man’s face, and partly the mechanical “feel” of some of the dance moves. The synthesized music was appropriate, spacey and weird and eerily reflected by staccato dance moves.
I was reminded of the “Uncanny Valley”, a phrase coined by the Japanese robotics professor Masahiro Mori in 1970, well before the age of massive digital manipulation of visual and aural data. A summary and definition from a Wikipedia page:
The uncanny valley is a hypothesis … which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.
Of course the video shows a presumably real man dancing, but I surmise that quite a bit of video editing has been done to the original video data; thus the vaguely creepy feelings I at least had while watching. What do you think?
On a lighter note, here is a masterfully cast and performed video skit, sort of a modern version of one of the old “Candid Camera” segments. How would you react if you saw what appeared to be a crashed NASA satellite embedded in your car? Thanks go to Robin Shapiro for inadvertently alerting me to this video. Who is Robin and why has she ended up in my Facebook feed? I have no idea. Must be a friend of a friend…