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By K. Reilly

The automaton, recognized this present day because the robotic, might be obvious as a metaphor for the old interval during which it's explored. Chapters contain examinations of Iconoclasm's worry that artwork could surpass nature, the Cartesian mind/body divide, automata as gadgets of courtly hope, the uncanny Olympia, and the innovative Robots in post-WWI drama.

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52 The classical sculptures of antiquity that vied for the King’s attention could not compete with the dynamic movement of Cellini’s sculpture. It was the vibrant act of motion that made the figure come to life. Ultimately, François I proclaimed that Cellini’s work far surpassed that of the ancients, because the animation of Cellini’s contemporary statue made it seem far superior in the King’s eyes. The King was so overwhelmed that he forgot that Cellini was to have finished an entire series of statues, not just one (and that he had already paid for the whole series of statues out of the royal coffers).

Iii. 14–17) The statue of Hermione is so perfectly mimetically rendered from nature that Paulina thinks it best to separate it from the rest of her collection. But here it is: prepare To see the life as lively mocked as ever Still sleep mocked death. iii. 18–22) When Paulina draws back the curtain to reveal the statue, her audience is hushed. ’ Her audience is stunned into silence, marvelling at the close resemblance of art to nature. Their silence displays great wonder in the face of a statue (art) that so resembles its model (nature).

38 This facilitated the gods’ entrance into statues fitted with nodding heads and long tubes (with whispering priests on the other Iconoclasm and Automata 25 end serving as the mouthpieces of the gods). These statues could divine the future, pronounce oracles, inflict disease, or bring reward. Certain Egyptian statues were notorious for their extraordinary political power: the statue of the god Amon moved his mammoth stone arm to indicate the appointment of a new Pharaoh. ’40 Ushabti were made ambulatory in the afterlife through a magical incantation prescribed in The Egyptian Book of the Dead that commanded them to perform all of the necessary domestic tasks for the deceased.

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