Uncanny Realm: The Extension of The Natural

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


One of the typical binaries existing in western society is the divisionbetween natural and artificial. But similarly biological and technologicalare often seen as oppositions. In today’s world, it is increasingly difficultto tell the difference between natural-biological entities from artificiallyconstructed ones with human cognitive abilities. This is due to thedevelopment of biotechnological methods to manipulate or constructnew kinds of living organisms that are purposely designed by humans.Likewise, artificial intelligence-systems are being developed to becomemore autonomous and life-like with their sensing and learning abilities.These developments point out that our perceptions of the concepts ofnatural and artificial are radically changing. Traditionally natural isunderstood as something coming from nature and not made or causedby humans; and artificial is understood as the opposite – not natural, butproduced, created or caused by humans.Taking the uncanny valley concept by M. Mori (Mori 1970) as a startingpoint, the paper will investigate how this concept fits into experimentsthat are intertwining biological and technological matter. The uncannyvalley idea was developed by Mori in relation to robots and theirresemblance to humans. It is a concept that is strongly connected toour perception of truth and to the moment when we are confronted witha question to judge if something is ‘real’. In the paper the uncannyvalley concept is extended to experiments in the arts and the sciencesthat address intertwining of biology, nature, technology, and whichdisarrange our traditional understanding of natural, artificial and real.The talk will additionally present examples of the recent and ongoingresearch by the author that is interlinked between biology andtechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISEA2017 Manizales BIO-CREATION AND PEACE
Place of PublicationBogota
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-958-759-161-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication


  • uncanny valley
  • biology & technology
  • art & science
  • nature


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