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Hara/Kobayashi Labs, Science University of Tokyo, Second-Generation Face Robot, (2001) [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Feb 9-May 26] photo courtesy Peter Menzel Photography]

“The Uncanny: Experiments in Cyborg Culture”

Vancouver Art Gallery
Feb 9-May 26

Since the mid-1800s, the imagination of artists, writers, scientists and filmmakers has been captivated by the cloning of man and machines. From Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” to Marcel Duchamp’s “Bachelor” machines to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the “Terminator”, the cyborg image – that uncanny integration of human and super-power – has fuelled scores of creative and philosophical works.

The concept of the cyborg has sprung traditionally from a deep-seated fear of the mechanical in the human consciousness. Whether cybernetic body or automated robot, the hybridization of flesh and mechanics is one uneasy concept.

This large-scale exhibition focuses on numerous aspects of that anxiety. It includes a wide-ranging array of images: recent body implants and samples of nanotechnology; early 20th Century artworks by Duchamp, Picasso, Leger, Muybridge and Lewis Hine; performance art by the Web-wired Australian artist Stelarc; and images of popular culture today from Hollywood films to Japanese animated cartoons.

A 256-page book of essays and colour images, edited by Bruce Grenville, accompanies the exhibition. A symposium entitled “Reading the Cyborg”, featuring Neuromancer’s William Gibson among other guest speakers, will be held at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. February 9.

© Mia Johnson


 Fri, Mar 29, 2002