Tech and the Uncanny

Sarah Angliss is a musician …and robots are her instruments.

There's the robotic crow Edgar Allan, Hugo the singing ventriloquist’s dummy head, Clara 2.0 the baby doll that plays the theremin, and the Ealing Feeder, a 28-note, polyphonic, electromechanical carillon.

Sarah’s band Spacedog is renowned for its live performances featuring theremin, vocals, percussion, saw, laptop, and of course, robots.

Sarah is also a sound historian and she has been called in occasionally by BBC Radio 4 and the World Service to share her expertise on the phonograph and other early music machines.

You can keep up with all her activities at

Sarah Angliss is a composer, automatist and sound historian, fascinated with the uncanny (Das Unheimliche) - an idea she researches through her performance, her robotic creations and in the archives.

The uncanny is the familiar, presented in an unfamiliar form, something we find strangely compelling yet unsettling. It’s the voice message that remains after death, the ventriloquist’s dummy, the hyper-real video game character or the Doppelgänger of folklore.

At dConstruct, Sarah will consider how we can harness the uncanny to make digital experiences more compelling. She’ll also be exploring moments in history when technology, from phonographs to mobile phones, seemed to take on a peculiar caste - causing fault lines in our understanding of human identity.

According to Sarah, if you’re looking for the next revolution in telecommunications, go in search of the uncanny.

Also huffduffed as…

  1. Tech and the Uncanny

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  7. Tech and the Uncanny — dConstruct Audio Archive

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  10. Tech and the Uncanny — dConstruct Audio Archive

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