Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Robo Aesthetic in Advertising and Film

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The history of female robots in film/TV requires only a small introduction and many classics come to mind when thinking about iconic robotic women: Bladerunner, Cherry 2000, Metropolis, Terminator, Battlestar Galactica, Stepford Wives, Tecknolust, Sarah Connors Chronicles, and so on.

There is also a growing trend towards co-opting a cool and technologically savvy robotic aesthetic in other areas of popular culture as well, including advertising and music.


Absolut Vodka features pack of robotic dogs and combines house music and a steam punk influenced group of futuristic youth to create a brand image that combines to reflect techno prowess and high fashion.

The female Svedka robot has been around awhile.  "Make your next trophy wife 100% titanium" reads the tag line. This type of marketing draws from the fembot as pleasure machine iconography so familiar in such charaters a Pris of Bladerunner.  I think that the Svedka robot girl looks like the hyper feminized version of the robots featured in I Robot.

For a period of time, Beyonce definitely liked to add robotic aspects to her shows and videos. Here she takes her robo-fashion cues from the 1927 film classic Metropolis.

Beyonce as Maria from Metropolis?

Christina Aguilera's recent album Bionic features her as a cyborg beauty.

Lady Gaga's Paparazzi Video features aspects of robotics combined with disability.

The idea of the machine woman has been around in Western culture for hundreds of years, dating all the way back to Homer's Illiad and the 19th literature of Mary Shelley, ETA Hoffman and Auguste de Viliers de L'Isle-Adam's. Freud takes inspiration for his theory of the uncanny from Hoffman's robotic woman Olympia.  Descartes' is rumoured to have built a replica of his diseased daughter Francine.

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