Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Ideas for uncanny enviroments

To complete this unit I will need to show a digital environment which deals in the subject of the uncanny. I have picked out several different environments which personally affect my perception of what feels “right” and sustains an uncomfortable presence.
I have come to notice many people seem to find the subject of the Child to produce the highest levels of an uncanny experience. This is probably due to how Children are perceived as innocent and sweet, so if something corrupts that impulsive view we feel uncomfortable. As a result, I am more than likely to choose this subject to incorporate within my environment to emit the uncanny vibe.

A few of the environments most likely to be associated with a Child would be:

• Playground

• Bedroom

• Playroom

• School

• If I was to say Graveyard, that’d make you uncomfortable…

The uncanny experience can be gathered in many different ways, on many different levels found within the Uncanny Valley. When two subjects which seem opposite (innocence and death for example) are merged together the emotional response is to usually become overwhelmed by a sudden uncomfortable fear felt within. You can feel cold for a second or unable to comprehend the situation.

Other subjects of which can play around with environments to create an uncomfortable, displeasing feeling would be:

• Clowns/Circus

• Pets

• Electrical Appliances

• Weather

• Open space/fields/flowers

All of these subjects can be twisted into sources which can deliver an uncomfortable effect. For example, the Clown is suppost to represent joy and laughter, so the thought of a Clown with a knife and you’re the only other being present stuck in a deserted big top away from access to other civilisation is distressing.

The subject of Pets being uncanny comes from the fact we place our trust in an Animal that we feel loyal to, that it feels like our own child, yet we forget it could turn on us and cause harm easily if it wanted to.

Electrical appliances are made by humans; they do what we want them to. They carry out jobs which we take for granted and if the machines could turn on us we wouldn’t be able to survive or live in the world we know. Things would become simple again; man would become less of what he is once he looses his ego in his own achievements. What if the machines could come to life and turn on us in our own home? It’s these thoughts which cause unease.

Weather is another interesting subject because even though we live with it everyday we anticipate what effects it could really have. In some countries the weather always plays a role which makes life harder to adapt to, so the countries which hardly ever experience certain aspects of the weather feel more threatened by alien conditions. Such is that the weather has the power to destroy our life thus forth we can feel uncomfortable towards such possibilities.

Open spaces feel lonely; someone can become lonely and panic easily in such an environment. Therefore an environment which is subdued in beauty such as a field can suddenly become quite sinister with the feeling of being watched lurking in the back of your mind.

From this small bit of thought ive come to the conclusion I need to make environments which appear like they should be friendly yet contain a single element which spawns horror and confusion. This shall as a result delve the image into the uncanny experience. If I succeed with whatever I make then it will only be a success if I get such a reaction.

Take care folks
Mr Kwiss

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