Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Faciality

Via V-2 : "K-Bot is the face of the future of robotics. It is a mask of elastic polymer placed over $400 worth of stereoscopic cameras, wiring and tiny motors. And because K-Bot can sneer, scoff, and smile warmly, it is the ultimate in automaton sophistication. It is the first robot with 24 artificial facial muscles and 28 facial expressions, and eyes that could follow you round the room."

Adam conjures the Freudian psychoanalytic notion of the uncanny, and I am reminded of the importance, the power, of faces. The first social interface was one face communicating with another, experiencing faciality.

In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari write that "Significance is never without a white wall upon which it inscribes its signs and redundancies. Subjectification is never without a black hole in which it lodges its consciousness, passion, and redundancies." The face is simultaneously the white wall and black hole. More precisely, "the face, at least the concrete face, vaguely begins to take shape on the white wall. It vaguely begins to appear in the black hole."

"I no longer look into the eyes of the woman I hold in my arms but I swim through, head and arms and legs, and I see that behind the sockets of the eyes there is a region unexplored, the world of futurity, and here there is no logic whatsoever... I have broken the wall... My eyes are useless, for they render back only the image of the known. My whole body must become a constant beam of light, moving with an ever greater rapidity, never arrested, never looking back, never dwindling... Therefore I close my ears, my eyes, my mouth" (Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn).

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