don’t look at me with those anime eyes

Aug 15th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured articles, Wearable art

anime eyes

Spotted on zoomdoggle – although these slightly larger than normal eyes look like a bit of photoshop magic, they’re actually extra-wide contact lenses. These are made by a variety of companies including Geo and Dueba, and cost $US30-$50 per pair.

Novelty lenses are nothing new, but I found this big eyed, not-quite human look (that’s so cute in the cartoons) evoked an uncanny valley response in me. The uncanny valley is a theory that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a feeling of revulsion among human observers (there’s more on the ‘pedia).

The predicted emotional response of human subjects is plotted against various anthropomorphisms. Movement amplifies the emotional response (positive or negative).

The predicted emotional response of human subjects is plotted against various anthropomorphisms. Movement amplifies the emotional response (positive or negative).

My (entirely untested) Darwinian hypothesis is that we’ve evolved to not only shun individuals that look like they have some sort of genetic aberration, but will actively hunt them down to prevent them from polluting our gene pool. That, or maybe they trigger a racial memory of those troubled times in pre-history when elf-like aliens despotically ruled the world. Either way they’re kind of creepy.

Which brings me to why they made it into the sidewalk circus. I think good art gets you asking interesting questions about society and culture, and contact lenses just might be a tool for doing that.

Also, it could be a lot of fun to watch reactions in the streets. Imagine spotting a whole group of anime-eyed (or cat or goat-eyed) aliens walking down the road together, what would your response be?

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