Orchestra of the Uncanny Valley

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Thursday, September 11, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014

Opening Date
Thu, Sep 11, 2014 8pm

A sculptural video installation by Dinka Pignon
Sound design and composition: Emma Hendrix
With the participation of Sharon Bradley (acting) and Heather McDermid (violin & saw)

Does an emotional response to the replicant (or humanoid robot) shift from endearment to revulsion as our likenesses become indistinguishable? The Orchestra of the Uncanny Valley explores this question while enacting a rhetorical hypothesis across the fields of 3D animation, robotics, human aesthetics and modern epic theatre.

An assembly of mannequins recites lines from canonical art manifestos (their outfits consisting of projected abstractions, well-known artworks and words) as a violin orchestra plays in and out of tune. Unpredictable calls and responses are generated.

Perceptual conflict and cognitive dissonance direct experiential engagements with the work. Investigating issues of habitual thinking and categorical perception of art, Pignon’s installation reflects on “art as social phenomenon” while provoking reconsiderations of the recognizable and familiar.

Venue Accessibility

VIVO is located in the homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in a warehouse space at 2625 Kaslo Street south of East Broadway at the end of E 10th. Transit line 9 stops at Kaslo Street on Broadway. From the bus stop, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight decline. The closest skytrain station is Renfrew Station, which is three blocks south-east of VIVO and has an elevator. From there, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight incline. There is parking available at VIVO, including wheelchair access parking. There is a bike rack at the entrance. The front entrance leads indoors to a set of 7 stairs to the lobby.

Wheelchair/Walker Access

A wheelchair ramp is located at the west side of the main entrance. The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides. There is an outward swinging door (34 inch width) at the top of the ramp leading to a vestibule. A second outward swinging door (33 inch width) opens into the exhibition space. Buzzers and intercoms are located at both doors to notify staff during regular office hours or events to unlock the doors. Once unlocked, visitors can use automatic operators to open the doors.


There are two all-gender washrooms. One has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The other is a single room with a urinal and is wheelchair accessible: the door is 33 inches wide and inward swinging, without automation. The toilet has 11 inch clearance on the left side and a handrail.

To reach the bathrooms from the studio, exit through the double doors and proceed straight through the lobby and down the hall . Turn left, and the two bathrooms will be on your right side. The closest one has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The far bathroom is accessible.

About the 

Dinka Pignon works with spatial video installation and ‘video sculpture’. Her practice is experimental, situated in the field of ‘mixed reality’. In her installations, large-scale video projections reshape the architecture of the space and create illusionary effects over objects. Operating on the borderline between the real and the virtual, the work is characterized by my strong affinity for the phenomenal, liminal, conceptual and minimal.


Emma Hendrix is a sound designer and installation artist who uses improvisation as a means to building textural sound compositions.

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About the 
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