Photographing Japan’s Hyperrealistic Robotics Industry

May 30, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Japanese scientists are working hard to create the most lifelike robots possible. These new robots are unnervingly real, with faces so convincing you almost forget to be creeped out.

English photographer Luisa Whitton explores this strange world of replication in her photo series What about the heart? She interviewed scientists working to create humanoid robotic beings in order to answer philosophical questions about what it means to be a human. She says:

In the photographs, I am trying to subvert the traditional formula of portraiture and allure the audience into a debate on the boundaries that determine the dichotomy of the human/not human. The photographs become documents of objects that sit between scientific tool and horrid simulacrum.

Her portraits of faces without a body or consciousness test the boundaries of what it means to be the subject of an artwork, if our perception of the work is more important than the authenticity of what we see. It’s a perfect metaphor for our world and digital identity, where so much of our lives are disconnected from our bodies. (Photos: Luisa Whitton)