In the 1970s, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori introduced the concept of the “uncanny valley.” The valley effect occurs, he believed, when an artificial form is almost—but not quite—authentic enough to feel like the reality it is emulating. People experience an unpleasant disconnect when viewing such objects, and they become fearful and repelled. Technical perfection adds to, rather than subtracts from, the feeling; a perfect robotic face can leave the viewer disquieted and nauseated. Imperfections are sometimes added to mitigate This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 51 Emily Gernild The Danish painter breathing new life into an old medium. Arts & Culture Food Issue 51 Imogen Kwok The artist takes food styling quite literally, creating accessories out of fruits and vegetables. Arts & Culture Design Issue 51 How to Make a Chair And do it on a tiny budget. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Odd Jobs The comedian with strong opinions about your home décor. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Tall Order The hidden depths of height. Arts & Culture Films Issue 51 Vicky Krieps An interview with the actor.